How can SIP trunking benefit my business?

A SIP trunk is the use of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) to set up communications over the Internet between a customer location and an Internet telephony service provider (ITSP), which transfers the SIP calls to the PSTN. Unlike in traditional telephony, where bundles of physical wires were once delivered from the service provider to a business, a SIP trunk is a logical connection from one point to another over the Internet.

Many enterprises are already using VoIP, however, many are only using it for communication on the enterprise LAN. In this scenario VoIP is only being used as a one-to-one replacement for traditional wireline telephony. For all calls made to the outside of the LAN a PSTN gateway on the enterprise edge is used. These businesses realise a solid return on investment (ROI) just by lowering administrative costs and the costs associated with calls made within the company.

With SIP trunking, the potential for ROI is far greater because SIP trunking takes the idea of VoIP a step further, beyond this LAN application. The full potential for IP communications can be realised only when the communication is taken outside of the corporate LAN.

SIP trunking delivers several benefits such as;

  • It eliminates costly BRIs (Basic Rate Interfaces) and PRIs (Primary Rate Interfaces) subscriptions;
  • There is no need to invest in PSTN gateways and additional line cards as you grow;
  • Edge devices offer low investment path in adding new lines as they are typically cheaper per line than the corresponding PSTN gateway;
  • It enables the optimal utilisation of bandwidth by delivering both data and voice in the same connection;
  • The maximum flexibility in dimensioning and usage of lines as you avoid having to buy capacity in chunks of 23 (T1) or 30 (E1) lines;
  • The flexible termination of calls to preferred providers; calls to anywhere worldwide can be made for the cost of a local one;
  • Redundancy with multiple service providers and links.

Also, some telephony service providers offer free PRI subscriptions for enterprises meeting a minimum level of call minutes per month. These deals aren’t necessarily the best investment, as SIP trunking service providers have a more efficient delivery method than traditional telephony service providers for the service and also in many cases an additional revenue stream in data traffic. These providers should be able to offer a more competitive price for the voice termination.

The cost effectiveness of a SIP trunk is such that by replacing an existing PSTN gateway/PRI installation with an edge device/SIP trunk, ROI may be achieved in a matter of months. For new installations a SIP capable edge device is most often a smaller investment than a PSTN gateway, making that investment cheaper.

It is almost impossible to calculate a standard ROI for a SIP trunking investment, as there are far too many service providers that offer services with widely differing conditions.

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