In traditional wire-line telephony, phone calls are passed to and from an enterprise and the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) over a dedicated line or a bundle of circuits. These circuits can be analog trunks such as loop or ground start lines or digital trunks such as T1, E1, ISDN, or PRI. Since SIP is an IP protocol, it runs on the same network that data traffic runs on. This convergence of voice and data means that a SIP trunk is a logical concept that has more to do with bandwidth than physical wires or circuits.
The benefits of SIP trunks over traditional trunks are many:
- Converged voice and data
- Rich communications
- Equipment reduction
- Reduced power requirements
- Reduced space requirements
- Flexible costs due to burst pricing
- Improved reliability and failover strategies
Enterprises that make the move from traditional telephony trunks to SIP trunks begin to see benefits from day one. There is the immediate physical reduction of gateways and line cards. Not only does the size of your communications system drastically shrink, but the power savings can often be significant. You can reduce your energy footprint while having a positive effect on your bottom line. Additionally, SIP trunks allow an enterprise to create a disaster recovery plan that does not require a complete duplication of its telephony circuits. Turning up the trunks in a disaster recovery site can be as simple pointing to a new IP address.
The number of providers of SIP trunks worldwide has made their availability almost on par as that of traditional trunks. Not only can they be purchased from the larger players such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Level-3, and Century Link, but there are numerous smaller providers that can deliver SIP trunks across the nation. If you add up the cost savings, flexibility, and feature richness of SIP trunks, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be starting down the road of transforming your company and communications platforms with SIP.