SIP vs VoIP: Are They the Same?
Suppose your customers are looking into business communications solutions. In their research, they will face a series of confusing acronyms and likely ask themselves questions as they compare SIP vs VoIP: “Is a SIP phone the same as a VoIP phone, and what is an IP phone?” “What does VoIP stand for?” We hear these questions all of the time.
According to the portal CommsBrief, there are at least 280 telecom abbreviations out there. With so many terms around (IP-PBX, PSTN, PRI, ISDN and the list goes on), no wonder buyers can become confused.
Some people in the industry use specific terms interchangeably, even when the words have very different technical meanings. This scenario makes matters worse, especially for company decision-makers who don’t have an IT-related background.
Users commonly mix up VoIP’s meaning with SIP’s. But, although they accomplish the same goal of connecting calls via the Internet and work together, they are not the same thing. Let’s compare SIP vs VoIP so you can better explain these terms to your customers.
SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. It is a communication protocol organizations widely use to start and finish multimedia communication sessions, such as voice and video calls. SIP, therefore, is one of the specific protocols enabling VoIP. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is in charge of developing and standardizing this protocol.
When trying to elaborate on the SIP definition, it’s easier to discuss what it lets your customers do instead of getting bogged down with the technical terminology.
In a nutshell, the SIP definition includes the messages traveling between endpoints and the rules for the establishment and termination of each session. Organizations can use SIP to transmit information between two endpoints or many. In addition to voice calls, they can use SIP for video conferencing, instant messaging, media distribution and other applications, which means it is a highly flexible technology.
If a potential buyer wants an all-inclusive solution for their business communication needs, SIP trunking is their best bet. Combining SIP with other tools, such as Asterisk, will make SIP phones and communications platforms even better because they can customize them to specific business needs.
H3: Related: How does a SIP trunk work?
The Importance of SIP
In general, a protocol is a series of digital rules for data exchange within or between computers, phones or other devices. For one device to communicate with another, developers must use well-defined formats for exchanging messages.
A protocol defines communication’s syntax, semantics and synchronization. To be effective, developers of each connected device or application (often called endpoints) agree on the protocols they will use. This is why protocols are necessary overall and tend to evolve into industry standards, making it easy for multiple vendors to create endpoints that can effectively communicate with each other.
Specifically, when a call or session takes place using SIP phones, it relies on the Internet to make communication possible. This makes it a more reliable way to connect voice or video calls. At the same time, a call taking place with a SIP phone uses VoIP to move analog call traffic over a web connection.
On the other hand, if you wonder about the VoIP meaning, it stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. VoIP covers any phone calls made over the Internet instead of traditional telephone lines, otherwise known as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
Other words people use interchangeably with VoIP include IP telephony, Internet telephony, voice over broadband, IP phone, broadband telephony, IP communications and broadband phone services.
VoIP uses the Internet to transmit the voice signal to another telephone or endpoint digitally. It encompasses a group of protocol technologies, such as the Skype Protocol and open standards, of which SIP technology is an example.
Organizations typically deploy VoIP in conjunction with an application, such as Skype or Google Meet, with IP-enabled PBX hardware or via a hosted VoIP service.
For the most basic IP phone function, you customers only need a VoIP-enabled phone and VoIP software. This should be enough to make and receive calls through the Internet.
It’s a superb tech choice if you want to remove the clutter of landline phones in the office and do so without having to rely on mobile phones as an alternative. With a premium VoIP setup, your customers retain an official line for their business.
You may also hear the term “non fixed VoIP,” which are virtual phone numbers not linked to a physical address. Non-fixed VoIP can apply to both businesses and residential users.
Because VoIP is limited in voice transmissions, it helps keep usage to a minimum if deployed independently. A VoIP provider may even offer unlimited minutes for your customers to get a better deal. This is why, for the most basic voice communication, VoIP is hard to beat when it comes to practicality and price.
H3: Related: Everything You Need to Know About SIP Protocol
When most people hear the term VoIP, they imagine a hosted VoIP solution where the vendor hosts and operates the PBX functionality, like call handling, voicemail and other applications. The customer’s IP-enabled phones connect to the Internet and ultimately to the vendor’s servers and software. This, however, is just one type of VoIP deployment.
SIP trunking is a more comprehensive approach, delivering telephone services and unified communications to customers with SIP-enabled PBX and unified communications solutions. In this case, the PBX provides call management, voicemail, auto attendants and other services.
SIP trunks establish the connection between the PBX and the public telephone network, replacing the need for legacy telephone lines or Primary Rate Interfaces (PRIs). Working with the right provider gives businesses the ability to select the IP-PBX hardware and software that works best for them while freeing them from the expense and inflexibility of traditional phone lines and carrier relationships.
The other ways to deploy VoIP are managed and hosted IP PBX. The latter is a hassle-free version where your customers have a provider who oversees everything for them. You may serve in this capacity or partner with a top third party offering this service. With a hosted IP PBX, your customers don’t have to buy the hardware or set up the SIP trunking because they are getting a pre-configured VoIP system.
A hosted IP PBX is ideal for companies without the capital for a fully customized SIP trunking service. Remember this solution involves creating applications and buying hardware, so if a company isn’t ready or doesn’t have the budget, they have the choice of going for a managed IP PBX.
SIP technology, however, is fast becoming the preferred method of deploying VoIP across an enterprise. Among the benefits indicating how SIP works better with VoIP are its reduced cost, augmented efficiency and scalability compared with older systems.
In the end, if your customers ask you to help them compare SIP vs VoIP, you can tell them these are different technologies fully customizable to work with each other. While SIP is an industry-standard method of achieving VoIP, it is also the preferred deployment method because of its scalability. A company won’t be limited to using voice communications, as they can expand into video, instant messaging and more.
Your customers don’t necessarily need to understand the intricacies of the SIP definition. Still, if they can appreciate the benefits SIP and VoIP bring, they are more likely to give the green light to modernize their communications platform.SIP.us offers straightforward SIP trunking solutions to businesses looking into improving their communications and reducing costs. Partnering with SIP.us will make any company’s VoIP transition easy with the proper SIP trunking deployment to fit their needs. Get started now.