Category: IP Telephony

What are SIP Trunks?

As a business owner, you are constantly looking for ways to cut costs and re-prioritize your spending. With all the services you are tasked with managing (merchant services, shipping services, payroll services, etc.) it’s understandable you haven’t mastered the knowledge of each industry. Maybe you’ve heard of SIP trunking, and maybe a friend of yours saves money by using it with his business, but you’d like to know more about how it works before you contact providers.

Conventional analog phone lines have dominated business communication for a century. Long distance and international calls can cost a fortune. The fact that a traditional copper-based phone line can only handle one call at a time means you’re constantly investing in a new “trunk”, every time you need to add call capacity.

By allowing you to make calls over the Internet, VoIP can reduce costs of long distance calls while making it far easier to scale up the number of calls you need to make at once.

A SIP trunk is the virtual version of an analog phone line. Using SIP trunks, a SIP provider can connect one, two, or twenty channels to your PBX, allowing you to make local, long distance, and international calls over the Internet. If you have an on-premises PBX in your office, a SIP trunk provider can connect to you and allow you to make outbound calls on your existing system, without restrictions on the number of concurrent calls.

Metered SIP trunking is delivered and charged on usage, so each minute will incur a charge. Metered trunking is very flexible in that there are no limitations to the number of concurrent calls, as you are just charged for each minute of each call. Metered services allows businesses the flexibility to dynamically add calls and just pay for the additional usage.

Channelized SIP trunking is a prepaid option that provides unlimited inbound and outbound local and long distance calls on per channel/call basis. Each Channel provides the ability to make or receive a single call. Once you have filled all of your channels you will be unable to make or receive additional calls. Channels can always be added for more capacity by contacting your provider. This type of SIP trunking service allows businesses a way to easily budget their telecom spending and is similar in capacity handling to copper phone lines.

Hosted PBX Vs On Premise PBX

There are pros and cons of both hosted PBX as well as on-premise PBX. There are some fundamental differences to each of the systems and they feature advantages that should be known prior to making a decision on one or the other. The move to an IP-PBX business phone system is beneficial regardless of which system is ultimately chosen. However, there are differences and knowing those leads to a better VoIP phone system and a higher level of satisfaction for the company, employees and even callers.

What is Hosted PBX?

Hosted PBX or hosted VoIP, otherwise known as an Internet phone system is one where the provider is responsible for housing the IP-PBX as well as handling the technology required to provide the services to the phone system. The desk sets will plug into a router and the calls, signaling, and features are handled through an IP-PBX server at the provider’s location. The provider of the hosted PBX charges a monthly fee that is inclusive of a minutes package and potentially certain features. Charges can also be at a per minute calling cost. Either one can be affordable depending on the rates. A company that knows the amount of minutes spent on the phone in a given month can make effective cost comparisons. Extended features may come with additional cost.

What is On Premise PBX?

On-premise PBX is also known as an IP-PBX phone system. It is similar to a traditional PBX system that resides at a location, such as a computer equipment room or phone closet. The main difference is that IP routing is done with more current technology. The signaling is done with an IP phone to the IP-PBX server using a LAN. Calls can go through a traditional phone company as well as voice over Internet (VoIP) using SIP trunking. Gateway cards are used to connect the system to the traditional phone company provider. The provider can be the one that already provides service, though a SIP trunk can be configured for use with an Internet service telephone provider (ISTP). An Asterisk based system is the most affordable option for on-premise PBX due to the flexibility that is offered with open source software.