A cheap SIP Trunking provider can be a great solution for any company that is in the process of converting their office from a traditional telephone service to a newer VoIP system.
If your company already has an existing telephone system or PBX system (public branch exchange–this is the call routing technology in your office that sends phone calls to different extensions) and you don’t want to have to replace all of your equipment then you should consider using SIP Trunking instead of a more expensive PSTN lines. Check out our chart below to see which cheap VoIP service providers also offer cheap SIP trunking services.
What is SIP Trunking?
SIP trunking, or Session Initiation Protocol trunking, is a service that allows an existing PBX or phone system to be connected to the Internet in order to use VoIP. Basically, a SIP trunk replaces your PSTN phone line with a VoIP equivalent. Session Initiation Protocl is an IETF VoIP protocol that supports voice, text, video, and other online multimedia services.
One important consideration when considering SIP trunking is your current Internet service provider’s bandwidth. Run a speed test to see how much throughput you currently have. You may need to purchase additional bandwidth for your SIP trunk and Internet use to work well without impacting one another.
Setting up a SIP trunking system requires a little bit of equipment, setup, and knowhow. You need a few specific parts in order to have a properly functioning SIP trunking system.
Required elements for a SIP trunk
- IP PBX
- Enterprise Border Element
First, your existing PBX or phone system must be compatible with SIP trunking. You may need to upgrade your PBX software in order to use a SIP trunk. Older systems may not be compatible. A PBX that can work with a SIP trunk is frequently known as an IP PBX.
You can check with your PBX manufacturer to see if your specific PBX is SIP-compatible.
You will need an enterprise border element to SIP trunk. This connects your PBX or phone system to the internet and handles the traffic of the SIP trunking service. An enterprise border element is usually provided by the SIP trunking ITSP as it represents a significant investment.
ITSP refers to the Internet telephony service provider. These are the guys that provide you with a SIP trunk.
Once you have confirmed that you can use SIP trunking, the system will require a little configuration. If you purchase a SIP trunk through a company like 8×8, they will help you configure your system to work specifically with their service and border element.
SIP trunking benefits
Calls made using SIP trunking, especially a call made from a SIP line to another SIP line, are astoundingly cheap. Calls within your current office and network are free. Local and long distance calls are also cheap, costing between a fraction of a cent to just under $0.02/minute for long distance calls. Compare this to Verizon’s nationwide rates: $0.06/min.
A SIP trunk costs between $20 to $30 a month per line and includes unlimited local calling. Most often, a SIP trunk also includes unlimited long distance and nationwide calling.
SIP trunking is just a phone line replacement, though. If you need to perform extensive call routing operations, you will need to maintain your PBX on your own.
One option that SIP trunking makes possible is a near-free IP PBX through Asterisk. Asterisk is an open-source PBX software that just takes some technical knowledge to set up.
Many businesses are quickly discovering the benefits of SIP trunking. If you are interested in the possibilities of cheap VoIP technology, but can’t manage the extra expense of new equipment, then a cheap SIP trunking provider may well be the right choice for you.