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By 2018, American telco Verizon will have ceased its ISDN services—a platform for voice, video, and data exchange introduced in the ’80s by the CCITT—in the entire country; in the United Kingdom alone, ISDN lines have seen a decrease of 3 million from a statistical high of 4.7 million back in 2007; and the trend of eliminating ISDN from their offering continues for European telcos like KPN (Koninklijke PTT Nederland or Royal Dutch Telecom), France Télécom, Deustche Telekom, and Telecom Italia—all of which will permanently terminate the service this year.

At this day and age when unified communications technology plays a big role in their success, businesses are choosing to make the transition from Public Switch Telephone Networks (PSTN), also known as Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS), to a more advanced network system, SIP Trunks. Gone are the days of copper lines as conduits for analog voice data; because at present, the internet has made the forging of agent-to-client relationships more modern, cost-effective, more flexible, and time-efficient.

A reported 70% of business owners have realized the importance of migrating to an efficient system of communications, and have made the switch from to an all-IP network that will be easier to maintain as their businesses grow. Because of this influx, the total revenue of the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) market has reached an astounding $73 billion USD, a mark-up of about 5%, just from SIP Trunk subscribers alone. In getting to know more about this new revolutionary way of unifying your organization’s communications, you’ll ask questions “What is SIP Trunking?” or “How does SIP Trunking Work?”

SIP Trunking Explained

Using a Mediation Server—a program that manages signaling and voice access to a centralized resource, which in this case is the Enterprise Voice IP network—or an IP-PBX, SIP Trunks serves as an intermediary between your phone systems to an Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP). In telecommunications jargons, “trunking” is when tangible electrical lines attach switching equipment to one another. That is exactly what an SIP trunk does; it acts as a virtual connection between an organization and an ITSP either through lines that link SIP trunks to other IP traffic, or through the Internet via a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Implementing SIP Trunking in your day-to-day operations immensely eases the flow of communications between your agents and clients. But besides this major benefit of SIP trunks, it comes along with others that will aid in the overall growth of your organization. First of all, these VoIP functions help cut the costs when it comes to contacting clients from across the globe. In the United States, phone service providers would typically charge between $6¢ USD/minute to $4 USD/minute per month (note that these prices are exclusive of charges like taxes and surcharges—an aggregate of costs like Universal Service Fund (17.4%), Administrative charges, Regulatory charges, and state/local fees by area). With SIP trunks, calls to USA, Canada, and Europe would cost you $1.9¢/minute USD with no hidden charges, and that comes with free calling features like voicemail by email, call forwarding, and caller ID.

Also, SIP Trunks make the recovery of files easier. The unpredictability of occurrences that can affect daily operations has brought to light the need for developers to fortify disaster recovery programs of phone systems. Regardless of any forces majeures (i.e. natural or man-made disasters), organizations need not worry about losing their data as SIP trunks ensure that organizations have good business continuity strategies. Due to its plug-and-play feature, these VoIP functions allow organizations to keep communications constantly functioning by connecting endpoints to another location, in any case its current location runs out of power. This disaster recovery ability of SIP trunks aids in the reduction of downtime, and assures the delivery of quality customer service to clients.

Lastly, unlike other previous phone systems, SIP trunks provide better quality voice solutions. By migrating to an advanced phone system, decision-makers are ensured of things like: the existence of an efficient flow of communications for the collaboration of different parties; and the ability to prioritize voice packages over data sets being transferred online.

Ensuring The Optimization Of SIP Trunks

Just like in any other tool that aids in an organization’s operations, there are best practices that need to be undergone to ensure that you maximize an SIP Trunk’s abilities. Here are tips to help you get started with using your new IP phone system:

  • To ensure that you receive quality service for any instance that you encounter any trouble using your SIP trunk, make sure that you get a provider that is closer to you location wise, as they can provide quick troubleshooting to your on-site problems.
  • By picking a last-mile service provider, you also get to confer with them regarding inbound traffic alternate routing possibilities. Doing so will prepare you in any case that inbound traffic to your DID numbers is not so easily rerouted to traditional Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) trunks.
  • It always pays to evaluate your organization’s call flows before the deployment of an SIP trunk. Always allot time for “proof-of-concept” testing, a method for probing an idea not the actual product or service, for call flows that are critical to your organization’s operations.