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SIP Trunks vs PBX: What’s the Difference?

Are you a business considering to implement a phone system? There are many things to consider, such as costs, scalability, and features. The options for companies that need phone services are SIP trunk services integrated with PBX.

Both of these options are Voice-over-IP (VoIP) solutions, but they differ drastically in terms of logistics, operation, and use.

Have you heard of both SIP trunk and PBX services but are still unsure what the difference is? Keep scrolling so you can clear up the confusion once and for all!

What is SIP Trunk Services?

Session initiation protocol (SIP) is a service that involves sending voice and other types of communications over the internet. SIP became more popular over the old Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) that most businesses relied on. 

The problem with PSTN is that there needs a physical connection between two points to complete means of communication. This means that calls relied on traditional copper phones phone lines. 

SIP Trunks are phone lines that utilize the internet to receive and make phone calls. This means you can make phone calls all over the world with ease and not having to be patched through an extension.

SIP trunks rely on a packet switch network. Packet switch networks break down voice calls into digital packets, which are sent through a network to the final call destination.

Benefits of SIP Trunking

Without SIP trunking, your business will need to rely on separate pieces of data and voice communication. These old systems aren’t able to handle large volumes of calls. This will eventually lead to problems with a business’ continuity and customer service reliability.

SIP Trunking is fast and reliable. You can quickly initiate call routing and recording, use multimedia messaging, instantly exchange data, and hold video conferences.

Other Benefits of SIP Trunking includes:

Services Are Scalable Depending on Your Needs

Modifying or adding existing lines is quick, easy, and instant with an SIP trunk service compared to a public switched telephone network. Also, SIP channels are purchased one at a time–this way, you get what you need without having to buy lines in bunches. 

You Have the Potential For Cost Savings and Efficiency

With other services, you’ll need to rent out hardware or buy it out completely. This can take a massive chunk of your company’s budget, which can decrease your productivity.

No Need to Wait to Install More Circuits When Call Volumes Rise

In short, SIP trunking is fast, reliable, can handle high call volumes, and has many features that can benefit your company compared to hardwired traditional phone line systems. Company’s that would benefit from SIP services are call centers, insurance companies or customer service centers

SIP Trunk Systems are Versatile

Not only can SIP channels handle voice calls, but it can also manage images, video, and texts through your company’s system. You can set up virtual telephone numbers with local area codes.

Data Integration

Data tracking is essential for any business, especially ones that have large call volumes. Being able to track information such as length of calls, the number of calls, duration of conversation can prove vital in trending your efficiency in the right direction. 

The good news is that you can track all of this big data easily with a digital SIP service.

What is PBX?

Private branch exchange (PBX) is a phone system where a company can communicate to those within their company and to those outside the company. PBX can utilize different communication channels such as VoIP, analog phone lines, and integrated services digital network (ISDN).

In essence, PBX is the call management software that routes calls and provides additional features once the SIP trunk connects the two parties

A hosted PBX service is cloud-based, and the company that hosts your PBX service pretty takes care of all of your servers for an ongoing monthly price. This option is scalable and requires minimal onsite equipment.

If you decide to choose a non-hosted system, you will need to invest quite a bit more to get the system set up, but there will be no ongoing costs other than internet costs and system upgrades.

Benefits of PBX

With PBX being a complete telephony system, this means all of your voice communication and conversations are sent as data packets over your network.

With PBX, your company can keep its regular telephone numbers and easily switch to locals over the network. This allows users to share the same external phone lines.

Other Benefits include:

Internal Communication

With traditional systems, if you call a number with your office, the call gets routed to the phone exchange, and then gets sent to your call destination. With a PBX system, all calls within your office are instantly routed, which makes calls hassle-free.


If your company has high call volumes you’ll have features such as automation. Automation enables phone menus, call directories, and teller phone services. This gives your customers limited wait times.

Call Routing

PBX offers flexible call routing options. If your employees are on the go, missing calls can prove costly to productivity.  PBX phone systems offer call routing which 

Which Service is Best for My Business?

This question depends on your needs. If you are looking for a system that is scalable, affordable, and has many features, go solely with SIP trunk system. If you have a bigger budget and are looking for additional features with your call system, consider integrating with PBX. 

If you have questions on what system is best for your company, feel free to contact us, and we can help guide you in the right direction.

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