People have been asking me ‘What is a SIP Trunk, and why do I want one?’ lately, I imagine as a result of all the positive press SIP Trunks have received lately. In response, I’ve put together this quick list of 5 facts on SIP Trunks that will hopefully help as you consider your connectivity options
1. What is a SIP Trunk, anyway?
A Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunk is a service that connects a company’s PBX to the existing public switched telephone network (PSTN) via the Internet by making use of the SIP standard.
2. Why would I want to use a SIP Trunk rather than an Analog or PRI based service?
There are several advantages to using SIP Trunks instead of traditional analog circuits or PRIs, but the most obvious one is cost. You will save on both local and long distance calling when using SIP Trunks vs more old fashioned telephony services. In addition, you can buy just the amount of service you need, while most analog and PRI services make you buy service and phone numbers in blocks larger then you may require. Many SIP Trunk offerings will also allow you to use the same bandwidth for Internet connectivity for your business.
3. There is a lot of talk these days about ‘Hosted VOIP’. Why would a business choose a SIP trunk over such a service?
This question really comes down to whether you want a telephony service that is physically located at your business, or whether you want to completely outsource your telephony needs. Many businesses want the security and reliability of a premise based PBX, as it allows for greater control. SIP Trunks are perfect for these customers, offering them a technicaly sound solution and cost savings at the same time.
4. Wait a minute, did you say a SIP Trunk will also get me Internet access?
A SIP Trunk uses IP to deliver phone calls to the PSTN. Depending upon the volume of calls placed, any excess bandwidth not being utilized for VoIP can be used to access the Internet. By moving to a product like DUET from a traditional PRI, you may find that not only do you save money on your phone bill, but on your Internet access bill as well.
5. What hardware do I need to make use of SIP Trunks?
You will need to have a PBX that is capable of connecting to a SIP Trunk. There are many of these on the market, from custom turn-key solutions, to open source solutions that many businesses implement themselves. When you work with your SIP provider, they will be able to tell you if your current PBX is compatible with this money-saving service.
Posted on the MegaPath Connectivity Blog as “Top 5 Quick SIP Trunk Facts.”