What's Behind VoIP and SIP Trunking Popularity
If you are ready for a business telephone system upgrade, it's time to find out why the new enterprise VoIP and SIP Trunking options are in demand.
By: John Shepler
If your old PBX system is getting long in the tooth and it’s time to start considering a replacement, you’ll do well to look into replacing that PBX with an IP PBX and those phone lines with a SIP Trunk.
Why are these new technologies catching on so fast when traditional telecom equipment and analog or ISDN phone lines work just fine? The answer is new features combined with cost savings while maintaining call quality.
Keep Your Existing Phones
You might be getting a headache right now, thinking about the capital investment and installation expense required to change out all those phone sets that are still getting the job done. Breathe easy. You don’t have to swap out any of your old phones unless you want to.
There are good reasons why you might like a new VoIP SIP phone. For one thing, they plug right into your computer network and don’t need separate telephone wiring of their own. You manage them like any other device on the network. Since a SIP phone can plug into any network jack just like a PC, it’s much easier to manage moves, adds and changes. You want to move to a different office? No problem. Just take your phone with you and plug it in to the network jack in the new office. The phone still has its own MAC address that identifies it as yours, so it doesn’t matter where on the network it sits.
Converting Analog Phones to SIP
But what about the old phones you want to keep? Just connect their phone wires to your new IP PBX. You’ll need to order interface cards with FSX ports to make the connections, but the IP PBX doesn’t mind a bit. You can even have a mix of SIP phones connected to your LAN and analog phones connected to FSX ports. The IP PBX will treat them all as individual telephones. Of course, the SIP phones may have extra features like displays or the ability to coordinate with computer terminals, but they’re still telephones.
By the way, you don’t necessarily need to have a PBX system on your premises anymore. VoIP has opened the door to hosted PBX, where the call switching hardware is located at an offsite supplier who provides telephone services at an attractive price. It’s a way to avoid the often hefty capital investment required for a new in-house IP PBX system.
The Reason Behind The Popularity of Business VoIP
VoIP telephony has become popular in business environments with lots of phones, primarily because of the ability to converge the LAN network to support voice as well as data. That makes it possible to keep the phone system truly off the public network for all locations that are reached by the corporate LAN. It’s only when you need to talk to outside parties that you need public phone lines. Or do you?
Yes, you do. But you don’t have to provide those lines yourself. What a SIP trunk does is extend your internal network to a service provider who then connects to the public phone system. Economy of scale generally means that telephone calls over a SIP trunking service are less expensive that terminating them yourself to analog phone lines or ISDN PRI trunks connected to the phone company. SIP trunking services also generally provide dedicated Internet service over the same SIP trunk. After all, it is just a network extension. As long as quality of service is maintained, you can get your telephone and Internet services from the same provider over a single SIP trunk and realize a cost savings.
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