SIP Trunks | Business VoIP | 10 Things You Should Know


SIP trunks and the business VoIP technology is gradually replacing traditional telephone lines which reply on the old and outdated copper line network. Apart from significant savings on line rental and call costs, business VoIP delivers unparalleled level of functionality and flexibility. With the rollout of the NBN and other broadband infrastructure, your business can now take advantage of this powerful technology.

Not All VoIP Technology Is Equal

The majority of standard VoIP technology, mainly used for residential and personal use, is only able to carry voice traffic. It’s not as robust as business VoIP and usually has lower SLAs (Service Level Agreements) backing the service. Business VoIP uses SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) which is a specific protocol to send voice, data and video messages, delivering all functions and not just voice. It is also backed by more stringent SLAs, perfectly suited for business communications.

SIP Trunks Are the Equivalent of Phone Lines

Business VoIP uses SIP trunks to make and receive calls. They’re essentially VoIP phone lines that can carry one or more phone calls. The number of calls is dependent on the number of channels (single call lines) attached to a SIP trunk. A single channel SIP trunk is only capable of managing one phone call, one with 2 channels or more can handle the equivalent number of phone calls.

Adequate Broadband Connection

A suitable broadband service and connection is required for SIP trunks to function correctly. There must be enough bandwidth available to ensure a phone call is delivered at its optimum quality. An allowance of 80kpbs in both upload and download bandwidth should be allocated to every phone call. That’s why ADSL connections are usually not suitable for more than 2 or 3 concurrent calls.

Network and LAN Requirements

When upgrading to a business VoIP system, especially when shared with general internet usage, it’s advisable for the network router to have a QoS (Quality of Service) function. When activated, it will prioritise traffic and ensure voice calls have the priority and there is no interference. Although most LANs (Local Area Networks) used by SMBs are more than capable of incorporating business VoIP, it pays to check if the required bandwidth is delivered to the end-point and that any firewalls are set to allow voice traffic.

Common Deployment of SIP Trunks

SIP trunks can be deployed in several ways. They can either be connected to an existing PBX system and replace existing telephone lines; used with IP-PBX systems; or programmed into an IP (Internet Protocol) phone and used as a stand-alone telephone line capable of multiple concurrent phone calls. They can also be used with a range of soft phone applications enabling PC, laptop and mobile phone voice and video communications.

Requires an IP Ready Device

A SIP trunk must be programmed into an IP ready device for them to work. A range of devices are used depending on how they’re being deployed. For existing PBX systems, its either an IP card or an ATA adaptor which is used to deploy SIP lines; for stand-alone phone lines, the SIP trunk is programmed into an IP phone; and a range of soft phone applications are available for PCs, laptops and mobile phones.

More Reliable Than Traditional Telephone Lines

SIP trunks provide a higher level of service provision than traditional phone lines, and that includes ISDN services which are mainly delivered using the copper network. BusinessCo SIP trunks use the state of the art BroadSoft BroadWorks platform that delivers enterprise grade service quality with SLAs of 99.999% uptime.

Not Restricted to a Geographical Area

For a SIP trunk to be able to receive a phone call it must be allocated a landline number or a DID (Direct In-Dial Number). The area prefix of the number is allocated according to the primary location of where it’s going to be used. However, once activated, the device which is using the number can be relocated or used outside the prefix area, making it completely portable and not restricted to the area prefix.

Fully Portable and Easily Scalable

Business VoIP uses an existing broadband connection to make and receive calls and there are no physical phone lines to install or relocate. All you do is connect the device using the SIP trunk to the new broadband service and its up and running. Additional call lines or channels can be provisioned almost instantly and there is no need for a technician to install phone lines at the premises.

Complete Redundancy

SIP trunks are the ideal solution to support all types of disaster recovery strategies. In case of power failures or other similar events, alternative routing is automatically activated, and any calls are redirected to an alternative answering point such as a mobile phone or another landline number.

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