What is SIP Trunking & How Does it Work?
It’s a tricky little phrase that sounds like it’s got a lot more to do with forest logging than small business communications. But spoiler alert—SIP trunking actually has absolutely nothing to do with logging and everything to do with connection. We know, we know. It doesn’t seem like the most aptly-named tool. When it comes to SIP trunking, we typically find that some small business owners have never heard this term uttered before while the other half have, but admittedly aren’t positive about what it is or why it matters.
So, we think that begs the question—have you ever heard of SIP trunking before?
No matter what camp you fall in here, there’s no need to be embarrassed, because we’re going to level with you—SIP trunking can seem like sort of a doozy. That being said, SIP trunking is actually hugely important for business owners like you. Why? Because it’s likely you’re always looking for ways to optimize your budget, cut costs, manage your spending, and overall, elevate the way you’re doing business and connecting with your customers. Ultimately, SIP trunking can play a major role in all of those goals and needs. As you probably already know, anything that can bring that type of financial balance to your business has the potential to be a major boon.
Look, we’re not going to pretend that SIP trunking doesn’t start out sort of confusing—we’ll level with you, it does. But, we are going to guarantee to break it down to the basics so you have a solid understanding of what SIP trunking is, why it matters, and how it can save your business (and you, by association) some serious money. Keep reading to learn more about SIP trunking and why it has the potential to be so impactful for your small business.
Let’s Talk SIP Trunking: What Exactly is it?
SIP trunking is an acronym for session initiation protocol trunking—it’s a method of sending voice and other types of unified communication services over the internet. SIP is the technology used to create calls (between two parties or more) over an internet connection instead of using a traditional analog phone line. If you’ve ever heard the term VoIP call (if not, don’t worry, we’ll get to that in a second), it’s important to know that SIP trunking technology is the way that you actually make VoIP calls happen.
A SIP trunk functions like a traditional analog phone in some ways but with one distinct difference—it’s the virtual version that uses the internet to create, modify, and end call sessions between people. This type of technology was designed to replace the need for traditional analog phone lines (sometimes called primary rate interface or PRIs) and has quickly become a reliable way for transmitting voice signals to complete calls. Think about SIP trunks as virtual phone lines that don’t need traditional copper phone lines. Instead, SIP trunks use virtual phone lines that work with an IP-enabled private branch exchange (PBX) to make and receive voice calls.
Every SIP trunk used supports something called a SIP channel. Each SIP Channel is equivalent to a single incoming or outgoing call—so, every call coming in is one unique SIP channel, every call going out is another unique SIP channel. This can go on infinitely because SIP trunks can hold an unlimited number of SIP channels. Why does this matter? Because that means users can use just one SIP trunk no matter how many calls they expect.
So, where does the need for multiple SIP trunks come into play? If your business expects to make and receive several calls all at the same time, then you’d need to make sure you had more than one SIP trunk—that way you can make as many calls as possible from multiple channels without tying up your only channel.
SIP Trunking vs VoIP: What’s the Difference?
Remember when we mentioned VoIP earlier? This is where things get interesting.
As we said SIP trunking is a type of technology that sends voice and other types of unified communication services over the internet. VoIP—which is an acronym for voice over internet protocol but is sometimes called hosted voice services—is a cloud-based service that relies on a third party to provide telephone connectivity through the internet.
The definitions seem pretty similar, right? Often the terms SIP trunking and VoIP are used interchangeably. The important thing to note here is this: SIP trunking is the technology that allows VoIP calls to happen.
If VoIP is the technology that refers to making a call over the internet, then SIP trunking is the process that makes that call possible. SIP trunking is a process of transferring communication over the internet and it exists on its own without ever needing to mention VoIP—but it’s impossible to talk about VoIP calls without mentioning SIP trunking.
Why? Because SIP trunking is what makes it all possible.
The Advantages of SIP Trunking
Now that you’ve got a better understanding of SIP trunking, you’re probably thinking something along the lines of, “OK, so SIP trunks help me make calls over the internet instead of using traditional phone lines. That’s cool and all, but so what?”
That’s a totally fair question—and it’s one we’re more than glad to answer. Ultimately, opting for SIP trunking technology can offer you a ton of additional benefits, like:
Because your SIP trunking technology relies on a high-speed internet connection, it’s likely that your provider can offer you the third-party services you need to make SIP trunking happen. When you consolidate all of your communications in one place, you’re often in a pretty good place to consolidate your pricing, too.
Plus, because SIP uses the internet to place calls, charges for long-distance and international calling can disappear—something that’s especially helpful for businesses who make a high volume of these types of calls.
With SIP, you can also expect immediate ROI—it isn’t some new techy-trend that you cross your fingers and hope will work out. It’s a tried-and-true technology with low upfront costs and even lower long-term costs. There’s no real gamble with SIP trunking.
With traditional phone lines, growth can be complicated. With SIP, it’s simplified. Not only is your global potential and mobility amplified, but even your local growth won’t be capped by geographic issues. Your organization can scale as flexibly as needed without physical infrastructure getting n your way.
Your SIP provider can likely offer you an entire suite of communication tools that can benefit your business (like mobile plans, high-speed internet, video conference, fiber-optics, and more). With a consolidated plan for communications, you can set up a suite that hosts all of your cloud-based communications in a single place—that type of next-level organization and management is definitely a small business’ dream.
Weather connections, disasters, telephone pole issues, and random telephone company issues can all stand in the way of your connection—do you want to leave your company’s ability to communicate whenever, wherever at risk? As long as your internet connection is taken care of, you’re connected and ready to communicate. The benefit of this? If you pick the right type of SIP provider, they’ll offer you an around-the-clock IT team that can guarantee any issue you have is resolved quickly.
Of course, that’s just the start of the list of SIP benefits. SIP also offers network consolidation, doesn’t require costly hardware investments, can minimize your need for physical infrastructure, can provide the failover guarantees you need, is easy to manage, and is even easier to use.
Optimum Business—Your SIP Trunking Partner for Improving Your Business
If you’re ready to kickstart your journey toward more reliable, more cost-effective, and more advanced communication, Optimum Business is here for you.
Our SIP trunk services offer you more than just the opportunity to cut costs—though, they definitely offer that. With Optimum Business as your SIP provider and partner, you’ll receive around the clock attention, optimized communications, and the most efficient voice performance possible.
Check out more information about our SIP trunking services or reach out to our sales team to learn more. If you have questions, don’t sweat it. We’re here for you—don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer support team any time.