SIP Trunking: Why you should be considering SIP to replace your ISDN lines

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SIP TrunkingBT intend to migrate all customers on to the IP network by 2025.

You know when the UK’s biggest telecoms company plans to migrate their customer base to a new platform, there will be reasonable justification for this. This ended much speculation as to when BT might switch off the PSTN and ISDN networks.

As of August 2013, there were 3.2 million ISDN channels in the UK and although BT do not have all of these on their network a significant number of ISDN customers in the UK now have a date from which they will no longer be in service and customers who are using them will be looking to move. This figure is set to tip in favour of SIP by 2018 when it is expected that SIP will reach 3 million trunks in the UK as it is estimated that ISDN is losing 300,000 channels per year. For some, this will act as a catalyst to consider SIP and/or a hosted solution as alternative.

SIP, or Session Initiation Protocol, is the standard communications protocol for voice and video in a Unified Communications (UC) solution across a data network and has many benefits over its predecessor. Back in the days of analogue and ISDN all telephone calls were routed over the public telephone network, UK companies would purchase what they needed from BT and an engineer would visit your office to install your new telephone lines, also known as ‘Trunks’. SIP trunks also tie is perfectly with incovo’s Cloud Telephony platform, which offers real-time communications for small businesses.

Benefits of SIP trunking

But our farewell to the PSTN will bring companies many benefits. SIP trunks will deliver:

  • Lower monthly Line & DID Rental – The monthly fee to have a number of lines installed at your office drops significantly with SIP trunks. Simillary DIDs cost a lot less
  • Lower call charges – there are many SIP trunk providers and competition has driven down call charges significantly. Some SIP trunks even come with unlimited calls
  • Better customer service – Provide better customer service by adding more geographical & international numbers. Just by adding numbers to your SIP trunk and terminating them on your IP PBX you can give customers more options to dial in, at a significantly lower cost. Reduce the barrier to contact you and increase sales
  • Move offices and keep the same number. SIP trunks are not bound to a location, so its easy to move offices without having to change your stationary or inform your customers. No need to hassle and pay a telco to divert phone calls.
  • Maintain better business continuity – for example, if an office is temporarily re-located in an emergency, SIP trunking makes the process quicker and easier
  • Eliminate VoIP Gateways – SIP trunks will eliminate the need to buy and manage VoIP Gateways. All phone calls come in via IP. No extra conversion often means better quality too
  • Leverage a modern IP PBX – Modern IP PBX / Unified Communications solutions will give customers increased productivity, mobility and boost sales. Connecting an IP PBX to SIP trunks is much easier than via the PSTN.
  • Flexibility – it is easy to add channels to your SIP trunk to cope with increased calls. A simple phone call will allow you to add channels, and often this can be done immediately. Compare that to getting additional lines installed and then having to upgrade your old PBX to handle more lines!
  • Correct number of channels – With SIP trunks you can easily choose the correct number of channels that you need, whereas with ISDN/T1 you often have to choose to add either 15 or 30 lines. This usually means you end up with expensive extra capacity.

Considerations

Upgrading the internet connectivity

It is worth considering a dedicated internet line for the SIP trunk. Most firewalls are able to handle multiple WAN connections, and considering the low cost of an internet line in most places, a separate VoIP connection will be the most reliable way to ensure the quality of your VoIP calls. We can provide bundled services with a dedicated internet line already.

This keeps your voice traffic separate from your data traffic. Much will depend on the cost and your network infrastructure. Check that your firewall is up to date and will be capable of handling VoIP traffic correctly.

Upgrading the pbx to an IP PBX

Chances are that the trusted old PSTN lines are connected into another trusted old device, the PBX. This device its inflexible, difficult to manage and often expensive. Technically it is possible to buy a gateway that allows the old PBX to talk to the SIP trunks. However now is the time to upgrade to a modern IP PBX and leverage the flexibility and modern features IP telephony can bring. There are may reasons to do ranging from cost savings, to productivity increases right to boosting sales. More about that here. Once the decisions has been made you’ll have to decide for the type of IP PBX. Your choices are hosted, an appliance or software based.

Interested in SIP Trunking? Speak to incovo today

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About incovo

incovo is a business communications technology integrator of category leading unified communications, infrastructure, integrated network solutions and document management solutions to small and mid-sized organisations throughout the UK. Our focus is creating dependable, cost-effective business communications solutions for businesses that ensure a variety of methods of collaboration to meet the ever-changing market conditions.

At incovo, we provide fast and effective support to all of our customers through our multichannel support network – allowing our customers to feel the benefits of compelling solutions that will enable their businesses to grow, tailored to their needs.

Sean Lightheart

Sean Lightheart

Marketing Executive at incovo
Sean is a Marketing Executive at incovo, a leading ICT company based in central Scotland. He is interested in technology, specifically next generation applications and looks to embrace smarter living through technology.
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