SIP Trunking Is Valuable, but Careful Planning Is Required

SIP trunking has become increasingly popular among organizations migrating from dedicated physical voice connections such as Primary Rate Interface (PRI) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). In a growing number of areas, it’s not even possible to provision those kinds of legacy telco services anymore, so the move to SIP trunking is virtually inevitable. The good news is that SIP trunking offers many benefits if the implementation is carefully planned and executed.

Designed for modern communication and collaboration platforms, SIP trunking leverages the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to manage interactive, multimedia user sessions involving voice, video or chat. It creates a secure virtual connection to the carrier’s network over a dedicated line or the public Internet, making it possible to deliver local and long-distance calling, text and instant messaging, conferencing, presence and other real-time services to users regardless of location.

SIP trunking is cheaper and more flexible than traditional telco connections, and can be scaled more easily. Capacity can be increased by adding bandwidth rather than by provisioning additional circuits or installing new hardware.

Because of these benefits, more than 38 percent of organizations are currently using SIP trunking, according to a 2016 survey by The SIP School. More than 12 percent are researching or evaluating SIP trunks, and more than 2 percent are ready to buy. Just over 6 percent have no plans to buy SIP trunks because they have legacy PBXs or their phone system is fully hosted in the cloud.

However, less than 22 percent of survey respondents said they never had any major headaches with their SIP trunks. More than a third had issues with the SIP trunk provider, almost a fourth had problems connecting the SIP trunk to the network or session border controller (SBC), and almost a fifth had problem configuring their phone system.

These problems arise, in part, due to the nature of SIP. SIP is a protocol, not a standard, and various equipment manufacturers and service providers take different approaches when implementing it. In addition, while all the latest unified communications (UC) platforms support SIP, they don’t necessarily support all SIP features. As a result, careful configuration is required to ensure the phone system works properly with the SIP trunk.

Respondents to the SIP School survey said that carefully planning and partnership with a knowledgeable technology provider are the keys to SIP trunking success. In addition, respondents said that organizations should make sure they have adequate bandwidth for their connectivity requirements, and perform very granular testing of the various SIP features and call scenarios.

IPC has extensive experience helping customers take full advantage of SIP trunking. We can also help you understand the various pricing models and fees, and determine if any upgrades to your network will be required to implement SIP trunking. We can then plan and execute the implementation and configure your phone system as needed.

If you’re ready to make the switch to SIP trunking, contact IPC. Our experts can help you get up to speed on this increasingly popular approach to connectivity.