Business VoIP

VoIP and SIP Trunking explained

What is SIP trunking?

SIP is most easily explained by starting with VoIP. VoIP, short for Voice over IP, is the term widely used to describe making telephone calls over the internet.

SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. It’s the international language of VoIP. A SIP trunk is an interface for your communications network. It connects your voice calls over the internet using a broadband connection. It enables communications between vendors. By comparison, a vendor using a proprietary VoIP system - such as one developed by Microsoft or Cisco - can only talk to its own equipment. From a consumer perspective, the same is true for Skype, also a type of VoIP. Skype offers free voice communications over the internet, but only between two users with Skype.

SIP is the language of voice calls.

Hostcomm VoIP services use SIP. Using our system, users can talk to any other SIP-enabled device over the internet. The difference between the Hostcomm system and that of a proprietary system is that most modern software and hardware vendors of telecommunications today support SIP. That translates to a whole lot of other businesses, partners, suppliers and vendors with which your SIP-enabled device can communicate at low cost.

If you want to talk to someone without SIP, such as a mobile phone user, that’s OK too. You can still make an outbound call. But your call will be carried over the internet until that user’s mobile phone service provider takes over. While the call won’t be free, it will be a lot cheaper than a standard non-VoIP call.

A SIP trunk is a virtual interface.

In the days of traditional analogue telephone systems, we relied on a physical wire between the two parties in a conversation. Along came the digital age. We began to install connections such as BT’s ISDN, which evolved from a piece of copper into digital signalling using fibre optics. Many businesses still use ISDN technology today.

Most recently, VoIP has revolutionised business telecommunications worldwide, enabling voice calls to travel over broadband connections. In most instances, the connection is facilitated by SIP - the virtual interface for the communications network. Thanks to VoIP with SIP, businesses can wave goodbye to physical lines, their associated costs and their inflexibility.

Why would a business consider it?

For a business of any size, VoIP technology with SIP is a no-brainer. The main benefit is cost. BT charges around £13 per month for an ISDN line. If you have 30 lines, you’re paying £390 a month just in line rental. By comparison, a Hostcomm VoIP with SIP connection is £2 per line. That’s just £60 a month – quite a saving.

There are, of course, many other important drivers. As mentioned earlier, ISDN lines are inflexible. That’s because they’re fixed at one geographic point in your building. If you want to close one office and open another, you’re in for a painfully long wait – weeks, usually - to shut down your line and get it reconnected elsewhere.  Imagine how much damage that could do to your business. A VoIP channel, however, can be rerouted in a matter of minutes. As long as you have a broadband connection, you can use our VoIP service.

What are the concerns and how are they addressed?

With any new technology, there’re always concerns that need to be ironed out some of which are listed below. But like all services, it pays to shop around for the right provider who can ease any concerns with tangible solutions.

  • Reliability:  Many organisations are concerned about the reliability of VoIP. Everyone who uses broadband on a regular basis knows that the service can be temperamental. That’s why Hostcomm uses multiple broadband service providers and load balances across them all. If one has a problem, the service continues on another provider, ensuring very little, if any, impact to your business.
  • Security: Fraud is a known problem with some VoIP services. But Hostcomm controls its own network, which means we can protect it using the latest security techniques such as firewalls, intuitive detection, strong passwords and continuous monitoring. If our customers encounter problems, our in-house experts address them immediately.
  • Set up: Many businesses worry that a new system means throwing away their existing telephony investments. That’s simply not the case. Many PBXs already support SIP, so setting up with Hostcomm VoIP could take minutes using the automated service on the website. If your PBX doesn’t support SIP, there are many great SIP-enabled PBXs on the market which are free. Hostcomm experts offer guidance and support through the set-up process, ensuring a seamless transition for your business.

Click for more information on Hostcomm VoIP with SIP services, or call 0808 168 4400 to speak to a member of our team.

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