Today’s technology advancements have made it possible for small businesses to communicate more efficiently while reducing overhead costs. Digital phone systems are quickly replacing traditional business phone lines. And small businesses have jumped on the bandwagon to take advantage of the ease of use and cost savings with modern telecommunication networks.
You may already be familiar with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) small business phone systems. However, SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunking is a new one for many.
According to a forecast in Markets and Markets, the global SIP trunking market will grow to $12.7 billion by 2023. Transparency Market Research reports that the technology is expected to replace traditional ISDNs (Integrated Services Digital Networks) and will eliminate expensive network infrastructures and reduce costs for many businesses worldwide.
SIP Trunking 101
SIP trunking is a means of operating a small business phone system over the internet in its simplest form. It replaces traditional telephone lines, also known as PRI (Primary Rate Interface), and sends voice and communication data via the internet. SIP trunking enables the secure sending and receiving of video, voice, and data calls digitally. In contrast, PRI is a voice technology and relies on existing traditional phone lines.
The SIP trunk is the centralized communication base, like a motherboard in a computer, and all calls connect via this trunk.
While the traditional PRI phone systems connect calls using physical telephone lines, SIP relies solely on the internet. SIP trunking allows your small business phone system not to have to rely on hardwired telephone systems. It does not require complicated installations or hardware to maintain, saving the business money and time.
How Does SIP Trunking Work?
Simply put, SIP trunking is a virtual phone line. Voice, video, and data calls make up the packets sent across a packet switch network. The SIP trunking architecture is kept secure and maintained via the SBC (Session Border Controller).
As mentioned earlier, the SIP trunk is the central communication base where all calls are connected, maintained, and disconnected. The trunk supports all SIP channels. And one call is equivalent to one SIP channel. The significant part of SIP trunking is that the SIP trunk can host an unlimited number of SIP channels, making it a robust phone system.
Unlike traditional phone systems, SIP trunking can support as many concurrent calls as your business needs without interfering with another call. Also, SIP trunking is highly scalable. It allows you to add as many channels as your business requires or downgrade the channels without changing the network infrastructure. Without having to reconfigure network settings or infrastructure, businesses save a lot of money when scaling. And they only pay for the lines they need.
The Difference Between SIP and VoIP
VoIP small business phone systems have become a norm for many small businesses worldwide in recent years. The Federal Communications Commission defines VoIP as “a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line.” With SIP trunking, you are essentially making a call over the internet but using your traditional in-house phone system.
With SIP trunking, you are essentially making a call over the internet but using your traditional in-house phone system.
SIP is one of the protocols that enable VoIP. And VoIP is an encompassing term that comprises many protocols that allow you to make calls via the internet. Both SIP and VoIP are critical terms in IP telephony and establish the foundation for digital calling.
Benefits of Choosing SIP Trunking for Your Business
Many businesses have already taken advantage of SIP trunking’s numerous benefits for their small business phone needs. Besides keeping abreast with technology advancements, companies can gain from an array of service features and benefits by switching to SIP trunking.
Reduced Costs and Increased Savings
An essential benefit of SIP trunking for small businesses is that it dramatically reduces the expense of overseas calls and intricate architecture and hardware. Since SIP calls are sent and received over the internet, there is no roaming or long-distance costs for international calls. Also, SIP trunking allows you to pay for calls that you make and need only. As you scale your business, you scale your network and pay for only the SIP channels you require.
By bypassing physical infrastructure, SIP trunking saves businesses money in the setup and installation stages. You can also make calls using any computer, tablet, or mobile phone, saving money on physical hardware. There is also no requirement to have in-house technical support personnel to maintain your SIP network.
Scalability and Flexibility
With traditional phone lines, you must install a new phone line each time you hire a new employee or add a new desk. Then comes the task of having to remove lines whenever you do not need them.
You are only required to add more SIP trunks to add more SIP channels if your business is making more than its allocated number of concurrent calls. Since the SIP trunk can support unlimited SIP channels, adding additional channels is easy. And it does not require physical installation or new hardware. Your SIP trunking service provider can handle this for you.
SIP trunking small business phone systems lets you scale your communications plan along with your business. Not only can you scale up, but you can also scale down.
Reliability and Continuity
Like VoIP small business phone systems and cloud-based systems, SIP trunking safeguards your business from any possible risks and natural disasters. Imagine having your phone lines go down during a storm. SIP trunking providers provide mobile-failover as redundancy so that your business can still use your phones in any event.
SIP trunking service may also offer additional assistance with your phone system to ensure business continuity. For instance, automatic call routing helps ensure that businesses can still make important calls on a different device. Companies can also set up call routing when the volume of incoming calls is too high to handle.
It is business as usual for many who opted to use SIP trunking for their small business phone system with the various features in place.
Immediate ROI (Return on Investment)
Many small businesses spend a considerable amount of money on phone system infrastructure and hardware in the beginning. And it takes them many years before realizing the return on investment. Because SIP trunking requires no complex architecture or physical phone lines, your small business phone system’s upfront investment remains relatively low.
The savings on monthly costs and overhead expenses makes SIP trunking a much more worthwhile investment in your business.
Thinking of expanding your business worldwide? Or maybe hiring an offshore contractor or two?
SIP trunking consolidates your business locations from around the world onto one centralized network. By doing so, you do not need to establish a physical presence in any of those locations. Your SIP trunking phone system also enables local and 800-number services to make and receive calls.
Since SIP does not rely on traditional phone lines, businesses can connect existing telephone systems to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). This allows them to place calls via SIP trunking over the internet.
Enjoy Additional Features and Services
SIP trunking service providers may offer a range of features and services to support and enhance your current in-house small business phone system. These services can improve your business communication. And besides, your business can provide unparalleled customer service and connectivity.
Some of the services and features include:
- Call routing and forwarding
- Call recording
- Call backup
- Enabling and disabling location-based calls
- Real-time monitoring of call traffic and volume
- Toll fraud protection
- Routing to emergency services or 911
- Call encryption for security
- Virtual localized and 800-number services
- Usage and performance reporting
Choosing a SIP Trunking Provider
Now that you have decided on SIP trunking for your small business phone system, it is crucial to choose a professional and established provider. While there might be many service providers offering SIP trunking, not all can support your business communication needs.
There are several things to look out for when selecting a service provider. Security and reliability are the most critical factors. SIP trunking service providers should have their private IP network. The public internet is not a secure option for important business calls and can be unreliable.
Also, the provider’s network should be designed with multiple points worldwide and established for communications. It would help if you worked with a provider that offers the additional services your business needs. And it is even more crucial to ensure that the provider has established licensed carrier status if you are going global.
Your business’ communication is vital and reflects your brand value and image. SIP trunking can help enhance communication around the globe. And it saves you money and space that traditional phone systems cannot.