sip trunk

How to Troubleshoot and Avoid the Most Common SIP Trunk Issues

Flexible and simple describe the perks of SIP trunk phone software.

SIP trunks fit any company, no matter the size or industry. Even if your company is growing or making some major changes, SIP trunk software can grow with your company’s needs.

It’s easy to install, simple to use and improves workflow throughout the workplace. That’s only a few of the many benefits of SIP trunk software. SIP trunk phone systems provide reliable phone service through the internet.

But with every piece of technology, there is the chance of experiencing technical issues or other problems.

If you don’t do your homework, you could be paying a lot more than you expected for your phone software. Incompatible phone systems with SIP trunk can cause licensing and technical issues. These cost your business time and money.

Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to prevent most SIP trunk issues and resolve any issues you may experience. Learn how to troubleshoot and avoid these most common SIP trunk issues in your business.

About SIP Trunk Phone Systems

A basic understanding of what a SIP trunk phone system is and how it works is key to avoiding and fixing most issues.

SIP or Session Initiation Protocol is a software that works through voice over IP (VoIP) connection. It sends digital pieces of voice, video, and other data simultaneously.

A SIP channel is a single outgoing or incoming call. The SIP trunk supports the channels and can hold an endless number of them.

VoIP is a term that describes all phone calls made over the internet. SIP refers to a specific technology that allows VoIP phone calls.

Now that you understand how SIP trunk and VoIP work, you can start identifying and solving any issues that may come your way.

Do Your SIP Trunk Homework

Before you install or upgrade your current phone system to the latest SIP trunk software, you have to do your research.

A common issue businesses face when upgrading to SIP is failing to capitalize on its cost-savings potential. They select a SIP software or plan that goes underused resulting in wasted money. This is one of the biggest problems that negate the benefits of SIP trunk and VoIP software.

Conversely, you could select software that doesn’t meet the demands of your business. For example, some people can’t make phone calls because all channels are already used.

To avoid this problem, research your business needs.

Take note of the number of incoming and outgoing calls your business experiences in a single day. How many workers will need their own phone number? Are there simultaneous calls happening at the same time?

Knowing your business needs will help you choose the right SIP trunk software for your business. If you’re unsure or have other questions, talk with your IT provider or a specialist who can help you through the selection process.

Phone System Compatibility

Is your current phone system compatible with SIP? If so, are there any licensing requirements you may need to consider?

Your business or company will need a PBX platform. The PBX is the phone system in a business that allows business users to have local lines. It also lets them share many external phone lines, too.

The PBX uses a digital technology that can convert calls to analog to accommodate the phone calls (analog or digital) of customers and clients.

However, not all SIP trunk providers work with every PBX system. Avoid compatibility issues by looking for SIP trunk providers certified to work with your existing PBX phone system.

Working with your existing PBX phone system will save you money as you won’t have to buy and install a new PBX system.

Problems Porting Numbers

The best part about SIP trunking is you get to keep your current numbers and most of your current phone system structure.

However, porting, or moving numbers, to a new SIP trunk system, can take a while. The average length of time to port all a business’ numbers is about 2 weeks.

Speed up the waiting process by working with both your phone carrier and provider. Another option is to get a forwarding phone number during the porting process. You may not have has as many features, but your company will still have access to a number.

DID Numbers

DID, or direct inward dialing, allows each employee in a business to have their own company phone number.

While traditional phone systems would give these away at little to no cost, SIP phone system charges for each one. This causes a problem of paying extra for DID numbers that are not used or not having enough for those who need one.

Prevent this problem by taking an inventory of your current DID numbers in use. If the company foresees growth soon, add extra DID numbers to accommodate new employees.

Sufficient Bandwidth for SIP Trunk

SIP trunk phone systems are reliable when paired with the proper internet bandwidth. In most cases, you can hook up your SIP trunk phone system to your current internet connection.

Are you experiencing choppy or lagging calls? If so, that’s a sign you don’t have sufficient bandwidth or you have a poor internet connection.

A common problem in smaller businesses is not having enough bandwidth to support the SIP trunk system. However, upgrading your bandwidth in most places is reasonably priced and readily available. Find the right amount of bandwidth for SIP by multiplying the number of calls by the bandwidth per call. You can find out the exact bandwidth per call from your SIP provider.

Simultaneous Calls on SIP Trunk System

It’s doubtful only one person will be talking on the phone at a time. That said, you’ll need to find out how many simultaneous calls you want your SIP trunk system to support.

Not having enough channels limits the number of employees able to make or answer calls. This causes you to miss important calls from customers, clients, or other businesses.

To find the number of calls that need supporting at the same time, document the number of simultaneous calls during your peak hours. Include all calls whether they’re incoming or outgoing.

Each simultaneous call path will need its own SIP trunk channel. If you find you’ll need more or fewer channels, your SIP provider can add or remove them with ease.

Can’t Connect to the SIP Trunk Sever

Connection issues with your IP phone mean you’re unable to connect to the SIP trunk server.

Softphones which connect and run through a PC may experience this from the computer’s firewall blocking the SIP traffic. A SIP phone not connected to a PC may have a connection issue to the server.

You’ll need to check server traffic to see what items aren’t connecting to the server. To do this, you’ll need a network analyzer. Then you’ll be able to find out if it’s a connection issue.

Another server to SIP phone connection problem is an improperly configured phone. In this case, you’ll need your IT or phone specialist to reconfigure the phone. Once it’s reconfigured the phone should connect without a problem.

Can’t Make VoIP Calls

While SIP trunk phone systems are very reliable, a call can still fail, even when connected to the server.

You or your IT/phone specialist will have to open the network analyzer to check SIP traffic and set up. A phone that’s not properly set up in the server can lead to dropped calls or the inability to call out.

Depending on the problem, you’ll need your IT or phone specialist to resolve the issue.

Faxing, Alarms, and Your SIP Trunk Network

Switching your phones, faxing, and alarms from an analog network to SIP saves money. However, moving your fax and alarm systems to your network can cause issues.

Traditional fax machines should stick to analog phone lines. The new technology with SIP does not work well with fax machines.

If you’re switching to SIP, this could be a great opportunity to switch to an electronic fax replacement. You can use your computer to send and receive faxes rather than a traditional fax machine.

Alarm systems can connect to traditional analog phone lines, cellular radio, VoIP, and the internet. Traditional analog phone lines are the most reliable for alarm systems even though they lack speed and extra features that new technologies may have.

For reliability and speed, try combining 2 alarm services such as analog and VoIP, into one unit. If one system goes down, you’ll have the second as a back-up.

Carry On With a SIP Trunk Network

Whether you’re upgrading or switching over to a SIP trunk network, knowing the most common issues will prevent you from experiencing them down the road. Identifying common SIP issues will make resolving them much easier while saving you time and money.

Have more SIP questions or looking to learn more? Contact us and we’ll help you with any of your SIP trunk needs.

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