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This content is part of the Essential Guide: The basics of SIP trunking explained
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SIP trunking advantages make the case for VoIP

In part four of our series, SIP Trunking Explained, find out how SIP trunking advantages have made it the preferred method of providing VoIP communications in the enterprise.

Editor's note: Part four of our SIP Trunking Explained series looks at the SIP trunking advantages for VoIP over...

circuit-switches option. Check out the rest of the series (see box below) for essential information on SIP vs. PRI, selecting a SIP trunking provider, how to enable your legacy equipment, how to calculate how much VoIP bandwidth you'll need for SIP trunking, and the security implications of SIP trunking.

SIP trunking has become the preferred method of connecting SIP-enabled telephony systems with service providers for many reasons. But if you need to make a business case for why it would benefit your organization to enable those trunks, here's a convenient crib sheet of the major advantages.

Reduced installation/setup costs. SIP trunks require only a reliable IP network path to the customer's telephony system, nothing more, unless you decide to use a dedicated data line. The simplicity and flexibility of SIP trunks allow providers to significantly lower their setup costs and pass savings to their customers.

Upgrade SIP trunks quickly with no additional equipment. Assuming your organization has enough bandwidth, adding additional SIP trunks within the company is a simple process. Many telephony systems support more than one SIP trunk, which means customers can implement multiple SIP trunks to serve different departments or services.

Backup links over any Internet connection for business continuity.  In case the primary link to the SIP provider fails, almost any stable Internet connection can be used to register the SIP trunk to the provider. While full-line capacity might not be possible due to bandwidth restrictions, it can help limit a communications outage and provide a backup telephony service for emergency calls.

SIP Trunking Explained

You've got the basics, now read the rest:
Understand the basics of SIP vs. PRI
Find the right SIP service provider for your telephony system
How much VoIP bandwidth you need for quality SIP trunking
Security checklist for SIP trunking services

Ability to connect SIP trunks to other SIP-enabled devices. SIP trunks can be connected to VoIP telephony systems as well as to SIP devices that support trunking. For small companies, this is a major plus because they can register with their SIP provider from anywhere and continue receiving calls, regardless of their geographical location. In the event of a telephony system failure, customers can temporarily connect a different SIP-enabled device that supports SIP trunking, and continue receiving and placing calls.

 Free international and interstate calls: The SIP provider market is enormous and provides plenty of opportunities to slash the cost of calls. Some providers even allow you to make free international calls to almost any location in the world.

Enable collaboration cervices: SIP is the key to enabling collaboration services by extending voice and video between organizations and service providers. By using SIP, companies can use the full suite of unified communications options, including video conferencing, presence services and many others.

Fax support: Many SIP providers also support fax, allowing their customers to use fax services as they normally did for decades, but also open the path for advanced fax services provided by a number of software products like GFI FaxMaker.

Next: In part five of SIP Trunking Explained, read about the security measures you should put in place to eliminate the chances of toll fraud over your SIP trunks.

Next Steps

Do the right collaboration tools for your organization include SIP trunking?

SIP trunk advantages over analog circuits

SIP trunking and VoIP are the cornerstones of IP telephony. Here, the similarities and differences of SIP trunking vs. VoIP are identified. 

This was last published in October 2014

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OF all of the SIP trunking advantages, which one would you say is the most important?
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"Fax support: Many SIP providers also support fax...."

All I can say is, good luck with that!

If your company is still sending and receiving faxes in any significant volumes, and especially longer documents, you may find that faxing is hit or miss on SIP trunks. I once worked for a SIP trunking provider that offered fax in its feature set.  We knew that fax could be problematic due to the need to negotiate between different codecs, as well as packet loss, delay and jitter, all of which could combine to cause a fax transmission to fail.

Companies switching TDM to SIP trunking services for the first time would be well advised to investigate cloud based fax services.
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