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October 28, 2009

VoIP Developer Feature: A Close Look at SIP Trunking

By Amy Tierney, TMCnet Web Editor


When companies in the past thought of Session Initiation Protocol (News - Alert), or SIP trunking, they often thought of the technology as a catchy buzz word. Yet, the use of the service is gaining prominence and its adoption is on the rise, officials with Aculab, U.K.-based provider of enabling technology for the communications market, said.
 
The VoIP developer took a detailed look at SIP trunking in a recent application note paper. According to the document, SIP trunking is a service carriers and Internet telephony service providers offer that lets businesses use voice over Internet protocol across the Internet. It extends VoIP or IP telephony use beyond the enterprise network. The service offers direct IP connectivity to an IP-PBX (News - Alert) or call/communications manager.
           
With SIP trunks, companies that have new IP-PBXs can communicate externally and internally over IP networks. This means companies don’t need to a separate enterprise gateway to connect to the traditional public switched telephone network. SIP trunks also eliminate the need for firms to own and main PSTN gateway hardware for IP-PBX.
 
The result? Organizations can take advantage of “significant cost savings” compared to traditional fixed PSTN lines, Ian Colville, product manager, Aculab (News - Alert), wrote in the report.
 
“SIP trunks are seen as a viable alternative to traditional ISDN as businesses use SIP trunking to provide cost-effective communication services to their offices through an IP-PBX,” the document said.
 
Beyond cost savings, SIP trunks also offer a competitive solution for extra telephone lines or back up of traditional telephone line solutions.
 
Interestingly, the term “SIP trunk” has different interpretation in some markets. For example, SIP trunks can be based on traditional trunk bundles sold within a particular market. Or in other regions of the world, “SIP trunk” depicts a single connection where one SIP trunk would facilitate a number SIP calls.
 
What’s needed for successful SIP trunking operation? Reliable access to bandwidth is one factor, and voice traffic contention with data traffic is a second consideration. Jitter, latency and packet loss are related to bandwidth restrictions and can impact the bandwidth, officials said. Companies should also consider interoperability when deciding how a business should connect to its customers.
 
Companies like Aculab offer a variety of technology products that offer application developers or service delivery platform vendors the devices they need to perform well with SIP trunking.
 
 For example, Aculab’s Prosody line of media processing products gives developers and service providers the tools to create SIP trunking products and solutions, which meet the demands of the technology. The media processing platforms enhance a range of communications solutions for companies, including contact center, broadcast, conferencing, and military and government applications.
 
For more about SIP trunking, read the SIP Trunks application note here.

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney



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