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How to connect a PBX to VoIP

Updated on November 25, 2010

Making use of existing PBX systems

If you've been in business for a while and are looking to save money, you're probably looking at VoIP services pretty closely after hearing about all the great cost savings and features that this exciting new technology offers. However, you might already have invested a huge amount of time and effort into an existing PBX system that suits your needs and you probably don't want all of that effort to go down the drain.

While Hosted IP PBX services can help you save money and also take care of all the headaches involved in managing a VoIP service, you can avail of special services which allow you to directly hook up your PBX systems to your provider's VoIP lines and just pay the fee for the connection to their pipes. This is called SIP trunking and is one of the ways in which big businesses prefer to arrange their VoIP architecture so that they have more control over it and can also utilize their existing assets.

Let's take a look at how SIP trunking works and how it can help your business.

A direct connection to your business.
A direct connection to your business.

SIP Trunking

In the old days, telephone companies would provide "trunk lines" to big businesses which were essentially a bundle of wires acting as a hotline to the telephone company. A firm could purchase as much "trunk" as necessary depending on how many lines they wanted. These days, a similar concept is utilized when businesses purchase "SIP trunking" services from their Internet Telephone Service Provider (ITSP.)

This allows companies to use their existing PBX systems to connect to the Internet to make calls, thereby saving money on PSTN gateways and other hardware. Even old Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) PBX systems can work with SIP trunks as long as they have an interface which allows it to connect to the IP interface.

Initially, SIP trunks were only used for inter office connectivity to save on telephone calls - essentially creating a kind of "Enterprise LAN." The real benefits of trunking occur when it's used for making any kind of call to any telephone in the world - whether it's an IP enabled one or not.

The problem of course, is that enterprises will have to configure and manage this entire system by themselves - something that not many can do efficiently. As mentioned before, large firms will have this capability, but smaller ones will struggle to muster the necessary resources.

Those that don't can always go for managed PBX hosting. They'll need to either purchase ATA adapters for their existing PSTN phones, or get full fledged IP phones after going through some VoIP Business Phone Reviews to ascertain their needs.

With or without SIP trunking, businesses can utilize VoIP to lower their costs and enable more effective communication throughout their organizations.

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