SIP Trunking sounds geeky, just think of it as savings!
I stayed close to home this past holiday season. Rather than fly across the country to visit family and friends, I ushered in the New Year with my loved ones via video conferencing. I also caught up with my older relatives who don’t have Internet access via the phone.
I have a pretty good package with my Internet and long-distance telephone service provider. But all the video conferencing and cross-country telephone calls got me thinking about how communications costs can mount for small businesses. This is especially true if your small business has separate contracts for data and voice. Wouldn’t it be more cost-effective to have all your voice and data traffic running on one line?You’ve probably familiar with the benefits of VoIP (Voice over IP), which lets you use the Internet to make and receive telephone calls. And with Internet service being relatively inexpensive, you can see how attractive VoIP is for meeting your business phone needs.
Taking VoIP up a notch
Despite the name, ”Voice over IP,” many companies using VoIP services still have to pay traditional telephone carriers for a local connection to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). But there’s a new service that makes it possible for businesses to connect to the traditional PSTN network, bypassing the need for traditional PSTN fixed lines.
This service is called ”SIP trunking,” which uses the industry-standard Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) supported by major IP communications equipment manufacturers (including Cisco) and Internet service providers. The SIP protocol controls real-time multimedia communications, such as video sessions, text messaging, and IP voice sessions.
The benefits of SIP trunking include not only the ability to deliver multimedia on the same IP network but also allow for end-to-end IP communications and the ability save money on international and long-distance calls. And because Internet Protocol (IP) is being used to route traffic, a single SIP trunk can be used to carry all your voice and data traffic. According to some analysts, SIP trunking can reduce the cost of trunks for businesses using separate access lines for voice and data from 20 percent to 60 percent.
Reaping the benefits of SIP trunking
As a small business, you can take advantage of SIP trunking by contracting with an Internet telephony service provider (ITSP). According to a TMCnet article, ITSPs can provide lower cost call routing because they maintain all the necessary gateways to enable SIP trunking.
The article adds:”Because the ITSP specializes in this function, it’s able to provide inexpensive call routing to businesses that normally would have to foot much of this expense themselves but without the benefit of economies of scale.”
One such ITSP is Nextiva, which recently added support for Cisco SPA 300 and SPA 500 Series IP phones.
According to TMCnet, ITSPs can provide features such as a fully redundant business-class network , the ability to keep existing phone numbers, and interoperability with most IP PBX phone systems .
SIP trunking is a no-brainer for small businesses, especially if you’re already using VoIP. Is your company using SIP trunking? Share your experience!