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“Common Questions about SIP Trunking”
[September 05, 2007]

“Common Questions about SIP Trunking”


Steven Johnson (News - Alert), President, Ingate Systems

SIP trunks are an immediate way for businesses to reduce communications costs. One of the most exciting aspects about SIP trunks is that they allow businesses to adopt the benefits of converged communications, which can mean an increase in productivity and a positive impact on your bottom line.



At the upcoming Internet Telephony (News - Alert) Conference & Expo in Los Angeles, Ingate will be hosting a series of SIP trunking seminars designed to educate end users, VARs, distributors and systems integrators about the benefits, issues and opportunities available thanks to this technology.
This article is intended to provide you with a preview of these ITEXPO (News - Alert) seminars, offering an overview of SIP trunking and a sneak peek into our discussions on the benefits of SIP trunks.

What is a SIP Trunk?
A SIP trunk is the use of SIP to set up communications between an enterprise IP-PBX and a service provider where voice becomes just another application over the Internet. 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 an IP connection, like the public Internet.

What are the benefits of SIP trunking?
SIP trunking eliminates the need to purchase BRIs (Basic Rate Interfaces), PRIs (Primary Rate Interfaces) or local PSTN gateways, lowering telephony costs. SIP trunking also reduces costs by eliminating the need for separate voice and data connections, and expands the potential for communications convergence using both voice and data together. Further, as a company grows, all necessary infrastructure to handle additional voice/data traffic is already in place.

The emergence of service providers offering SIP trunks to enterprises means that enterprises can outsource their PSTN connectivity to a third party. This reduces long distance charges, as SIP calls travel over the Internet or provider’s IP network to a termination point owned by a service provider, where the call is then transferred to the local PSTN.

Who offers SIP trunks today?
Many incumbent carriers and multiple new entrants are offering SIP trunks today.. With the current state of competition and the robustness of the networks, a good SIP trunking service provider is easy to find.

What considerations must the enterprise keep in mind of when adopting SIP trunking?
Most newer PBXs support SIP and there are migration paths for legacy PBXs to add SIP to the trunk side of the network. In addition to having a SIP PBX (News - Alert) in place, the enterprise needs to consider two things: first, the internal network must be designed to limit delays and bandwidth conflicts to ensure optimal voice quality. Second, the enterprise needs to add SIP specific security to the edge of the network. With Ingate’s SIP-capable Firewalls and our award-winning SIParator, this is easily accomplished and the device can also add other features that are desirable in a SIP trunking installation.

Can I safely replace my PRIs with SIP Trunks and not lose functionality?
Yes. The SIP trunking service provider community and the equipment manufacturers can provide your enterprise with good quality communications at a fraction of the cost of PRIs and traditional telephony services.

What else can I do with SIP besides SIP Trunking?
• Connecting Remote Workers to the SIP Trunk without VPN: Business professionals are some of the earliest adopters of convergence technology; most, in fact, find themselves connected to the Internet around the clock, whether they are working from their homes or any other place in the world.

• Video on the desktop is now possible with SIP in the network backbone.

• Collaboration, often called Unified Communications, is a powerful way to leverage your SIP implementation and reap further productivity benefits for you, your employees and your customers.

Summary
SIP has taken its place as the protocol of choice for IP communications. SIP trunking has taken off because it offers good quality communications at a much lower cost than traditional telephony. Other applications are now taking their positions with SIP trunking to offer customers the benefit of unified communications through multiple media without adding further hardware in the enterprise network. SIP is real and the applications now available on SIP are both plentiful and beneficial.

Join us at the ITEXPO in Los Angeles on September 10 and 11, 2007 to learn more from Ingate and its partners: 360 Networks, Acme Packet, Bandwidth.com, Cbeyond, Central Touch, Digium/Asterisk (News - Alert), Level 3, NeuStar/ENUM IETF, Objectworld, Pingtel, TMC, ShoreTel, Sphere Communications and the VoIP Security Alliance (VOIPSA).


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