What is a SIP Trunk?

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SIP Trunking

SIP, or Session Initiation Protocol, is a standard protocol for voice and video communication. SIP is typically used in a Unified Communications (UC) solution where voice and/or video travels across a data network, e.g. your company’s internal network, or the Internet.

A SIP trunk replaces traditional analog or T1-based Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) connections with voice over IP (VoIP) service provided through a SIP provider (e.g. handSIP by Imecom) over a company’s public or private Internet connection.

What are the benefits of a SIP Trunk?

SIP trunking provides the latest in real-time communications technology and goes a long way to simplifying telecommunications. But by far the biggest benefit for most organizations is immediate and substantial cost savings.

Save money on long distance service
With SIP trunking, long distance calling often costs substantially less. Some SIP Trunking providers also offer unlimited or unmetered plans where you pay by channel instead of by minute.

Eliminate complexity of IP-PSTN gateways (or your entire PBX)
SIP trunks connect directly to the ITSP without traversing the publicly switched telephone network. As a result, you can get rid of IP-PSTN gateways and their cost and complexity. Some ITSPs like Imecom offer hosted PBX phone system, allowing you to shift the PBX and management of the PBX to the provider, if you choose. In doing so, you can reduced complexity, maintenance, and administration of your telecommunications infrastructure which translates into substantial cost savings.

Combine voice and data onto a single network
SIP trunking allows you to converge voice and data onto a single IP-based network, rather than having redundant telephone and data networks. This streamlines managing voice and data and leads to more cost savings.

Eliminate PRI
A SIP trunk connects directly to the ITSP (provider), allowing you to eliminate costly PRIs and replace them with service that delivers equal quality at a fraction of the price. Furthermore, unlike with PRI where you must purchase lines in blocks of 24, SIP Trunking allows you to buy the bandwidth you need, in smaller increments, and at better prices.

How much does a SIP trunk cost?

SIP Trunking service, such as handSIP VoIP SIP Trunking, offer SIP Trunking service on a metered basis, or sometimes on an unlimited basis. The per-minute pricing model is fairly straight forward – usage is billed at a set rate per minute. An “unlimited” price model, also referred to as a channelized pricing model, typically provides nearly unlimited minutes on a set number of channels, or call paths. For example, a company can purchase 10 channels and make use of unlimited minutes on those channels. But the number of channels directly correlates to the number of simultaneous calls allowed. So 10 channels allows for 10 simultaneous calls.

I have IP phones. Don’t I already have SIP trunking?

Maybe, but not always. Many companies already use VoIP within the PBX phone system that resides on the internal network. In these cases, the IP phones connect to the PBX, but the PBX may still use traditional PSTN service. If your company is still using a traditional legacy PBX system, it may not be VoIP-ready. In these cases, the legacy PBX can be connected to a SIP trunking provider using common VoIP gateways to take advantage of SIP trunking and reap the significant cost benefits. SIP Trunking also provides flexibility as by using shared lines, such as a company’s Internet connection, further reducing costs.

Can I keep my existing phone number(s)?

YES! One of the many benefits of SIP trunking is portability. With handSIP from Imecom, you can keep your existing phone number(s) by porting them over to handSIP. You can also register new numbers in your specific area or locale. Lear more about porting numbers to handSIP.

Can I test SIP trunking?

Most SIP trunking providers will offer some kind of free trial. handSIP VoIP SIP Trunking service is available in a free 14-day trial. If you have an IP-PBX, VoIP Gateway, or an IP phone or soft phone, chances are you can test handSIP for free.

To sign up for a FREE 14-day trial, click here to request a trial account. Once your request is submitted, an Imecom representative will respond with trial account details.