One of the biggest reasons that businesses of all sizes and types are turning to SIP trunking is to save money. One perceived barrier that stops some businesses from jumping on the SIP bandwagon is the need for a SIP enabled PBX. When the goal is to cut costs, it can be difficult to justify the investment in new communications hardware. Well, we have good news. There is an easy and inexpensive way to leverage SIP trunking even with an older PBX or key system.
Is your PBX SIP enabled?
If you purchased your PBX in the last 8 – 10 years, it is most likely all ready to use SIP. It is usually easy to tell. If your PBX has an Ethernet jack (or a data jack) on the back, it is probably good to go. The user manual should have a section on “configuring a SIP trunk,” and it will probably contain the words SIP, VoIP, or IP enabled in the specifications. If you have older PBX hardware and there is no data jack, it is not SIP-enabled.
Introducing the Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA)
If you find that your PBX is not designed to be used with SIP trunking, you can still cut your communications costs, you’ll just need to purchase a simple device that attaches to your PBX and allows you to convert the analog signals that your PBX currently uses, to the digital ones necessary for SIP. The device is called an analog telephone adapter (ATA). There are many ATAs available and they come in several sizes from just a single port all the way up to 24 analog ports. You do need to make sure that the SIP trunk provider you choose can support ATAs. SIP.US supports many, including the Linksys PAP2T, the Grandstream HT701, and the Cisco SPA8000.
Small Investment for Big Savings
Of course prices vary by size and manufacture, but to give you a ballpark idea of the cost, the Linksys by Cisco SPA800 is available on Amazon for $187.33. (It’s even eligible for Prime shipping!) That’s not a lot to spend considering how much you will save by switching from traditional PRI lines to SIP. By bridging your legacy PBX to the Internet, you can save as much as 60% of your communications costs. Here’s how:
- The fixed monthly costs for each SIP unlimited channel are typically significantly lower than the PRI lines they replace
- Traditional lines are sold in blocks of 23 channels. This means that you may very well be paying for more lines than you need. With SIP trunking, channels are sold one at a time. You get and pay for only exactly what you need and grow on demand.
- Unlimited SIP trunking from SIP.US includes local and long distance to most of the United States and Canada. This not only reduces your monthly bill, but it also makes it easy to predict what your expenses will be each month.
Don’t let your legacy PBX hold you back. It’s easy and inexpensive to get it ready for SIP trunking. If you have any questions about how to get started, we’re here to help.