Connects Enterprises to Carriers for IP Telephony
A telephone trunking option
uses Session Initiation Protocol to connect companies to phone
By: John Shepler
Enterprise VoIP phone systems are often sequestered
within the corporate walls. Even though medium and large businesses
have been replacing traditional TDM based PBX telephone systems
with IP telephony, and even though carriers themselves are often
using IP based core networks to transport voice traffic, it's
still a switched circuit world. SIP Trunking provides an IP to
IP conduit for voice traffic without that intermediate conversion
to and from the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).
Each Organization is Unique
Companies base their technology decisions on what will work best
in their particular environment. Each organization takes a look
at their current deployment of analog or digital phones, their
expansion needs, desired telephony features and both capital
and operating expenses. The result is ad-hoc solutions that may
be anything from a key telephone system with half a dozen lines
to an enterprise-wide VoIP system with thousands of handsets
connected to a single converged network. Within the corporate
walls, it doesn't matter what you use as long as everyone can
talk to everyone else. But if you want to make calls outside
of the organization, you need compatibility with the phone number
you want to call.
SS7 is the Heart of the Public Phone
Traditionally, that compatibility has been based on analog copper
phone lines or T-carrier digital lines, such as ISDN PRI circuits.
These standards were established by the telephone companies over
100 years of development. At the core of these standards is a
signaling mechanism known as SS7 or Signaling System # 7. SS7
is the protocol that phone companies use to talk to other phone
companies. It is the control mechanism to setup and tear down,
or initiate and terminate telephone calls.
SIP as an SS7 Alternative for IP Telephony
SS7 is at the heart of the public telephone system. But VoIP
has its own signaling protocols. A popular one and the current
favorite as the emerging standard for IP telephony is SIP or
Session Initiation Protocol. An enterprise VoIP system may use
SIP for signaling on the same network that carries voice, video
and data traffic. The corporate IP network can transport internal
phone calls between remote locations, completely avoiding the
public phone system. That is, until someone wants to talk to
a party outside of the company. A voice gateway provides connection
to the outside telephone lines or trunks to the desired phone
SIP Trunking Includes the Telephone
What SIP trunking does is to include the phone carrier within
the VoIP network. That also includes access to that carrier's
Voice IP network so that phone traffic can remain as VoIP packets
to VoIP enabled users without a protocol conversion. Calls to
phone numbers off the network are terminated by the carrier rather
than the enterprise. As VoIP becomes more prevalent, fewer calls
will need to be terminated to the PSTN. The result is cost savings
and other features provided by converged voice and data networking.
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