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What Is SIP Trunking? A Quick Guide for Small Businesses

SIP trunking is a topic that every business owner has likely heard of, although many may not understand what it is and how it could benefit their business. Session Initiation Protocol, or SIP trunking, leverages your existing internet connection to enable chat, video, and voice calls. SIP trunks are virtual phone lines, offering small businesses all the advantages of an enterprise PBX (private branch exchange) system with less hardware, setup, and cost. 

SIP trunking is not a new technology, although it has grown and adapted as new capabilities emerge. It started as a method for analog phones to connect to PBX systems. As it evolved, it allowed users to make calls over the internet without going through traditional phone systems. More importantly, small businesses finally had access to virtual communication options without the expenses involved with conventional enterprise phone systems. 

SIP Trunking Basics

SIP is what facilitates enterprise communications. It enables voice over IP (VoIP) services by providing an application layer protocol. That means you can make calls over the internet instead of needing traditional, hard-wired phone lines. It also allows you to send videos and participate in live video conferences.

With a robust internet connection, a SIP trunk can handle multiple calls while running various business web applications. For instance, if you have ten people in your office, five people may be on calls, with three of those concurrently running a web app, two holding a video conference, and the final three working on cloud-based software. 

SIP Trunking Features

Chances are, your business needs more capabilities than it currently has. You may need to find a solution that is budget friendly yet can grow as your business does. A basic phone system, mobile phones, and laptops can only do so much – with a lot of hands-on management. That’s where SIP trunking comes in. 

SIP trunking allows your small business to function as a larger entity. It enables multimedia solutions that streamline workflow, save time, and increase productivity. And it does so without the overhead of expensive equipment, network upgrades, or additional resources to install and support them. All that is necessary is finding the right SIP provider. 

What features should you look for in a SIP provider? Look for the following:

  • guaranteed uptime of 99.95% or higher to ensure maximum dependability and reliability.
  • tier-1 networks to deliver crystal-clear, reliable voice transmission for optimal call quality.
  • transparent and easily accessible real-time data records to allow you to effectively research and monitor your usage.
  • a readily accessible and responsive support team that you can easily reach out to in case of any issues or questions.

Related: How Does Cloud SIP Trunking Differ From Traditional SIP Trunking?

What Is the Difference Between SIP Trunking and VOIP?

Many people are more familiar with VoIP than SIP, even though they may use SIP trunking daily.  Though related, one primary characteristic differentiates them, and a clue is in the name: voice over IP. SIP trunking transfers voice, video, and text data packets, while VoIP only transfers voice data. SIP enables VoIP with better call quality and a more cost-effective price.

Using SIP connectivity, your team members can:

  • Hold video conferences
  • Collaborate on documents in real-time
  • Use fax and fax to email applications
  • Chat and instant message
  • Share their desktop
  • Enable virtual whiteboarding
  • Distribute multimedia files and other data
  • Parse business and usage analytics

SIP Trunking Benefits

While we could write extensively on the many advantages of SIP trunking, we’ll consolidate this list into the most impactful ones for small businesses. When you choose the right provider, you can expect the following benefits.

Related: SIP Trunking Providers – What’s the Difference Between Them?

1. Virtual Server

A virtual SIP server frees you from installing and managing more hardware. However, it’s not only the server that is virtual with SIP. You and your staff can determine your availability and your location. You can route calls to your mobile device if you step away from your desk for coffee or lunch, or you can route them to your assistant, colleague, or voicemail while you are on vacation or otherwise unavailable.

2. Consolidated Communications

SIP lets you use the same network service for all your devices and applications. It not only simplifies your infrastructure but frees you from having multiple subscriptions. With SIP, you can now communicate with anyone in the world via voice, video, and text, at a low cost. 

3.  Efficiency and Economy

With traditional PBX phone systems, businesses often have to pay for phone lines they may not even need, along with expensive equipment that enables the setup, calls, and ongoing maintenance. On top of the initial installation and overhead, there were the long-distance and international call fees. In contrast, SIP trunking has much more flexible pricing, typically per-user, and no need for new hardware. This is attractive for small or startup businesses and anyone looking for a more economical and predictable way to budget their expenses. 

4. Reliability

SIP trunking with VoIP is highly reliable. You can route calls to a mobile device or other location, so you have built-in failover in case of a device malfunction or an internet outage. No more worrying about cut phone lines, downed telephone poles, or other hardware issues. As long as you have an internet connection, you can keep your business operating as needed under any circumstance. 

5. Scalability

With SIP services, you can effortlessly scale your communications infrastructure as your business grows, without the need for additional IP infrastructure or extra staff. The ability to add or remove end users on demand through a user-friendly management console allows for quick and efficient adjustments to your communication needs. This means you can adapt to changes in your business without incurring extra costs or consuming extra time and resources. This flexibility is essential in today’s work environment.

Quickly Scale Your Small Business With SIP Trunking 

SIP trunking is an ideal solution for small businesses looking to improve customer service and increase team collaboration and flexibility. With SIP trunking, your team members can communicate and serve customers from anywhere, as long as they have a reliable internet connection and adequate bandwidth. SIP.US makes this process easy with their fast and free channel setup, modern features, and flexible control options, allowing you to manage your communication more efficiently. Get started with a trial of SIP.US today.

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