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VoIP and SIP Trunking

Updated on March 1, 2012

Different Types of VoIP Systems

There are various ways in which VoIP can be configured. In one scenario, a company or business owns their own VoIP server hardware and merely needs an external connection to the PSTN system to turn it into a complete replacement for a traditional phone network. In other cases, the actual VoIP infrastructure is located remotely and is managed by a third party with merely VoIP clients residing with the customer. The latter scenario is ideal for those who don't already have an IP network in place. These organizations can start from scratch and avoid the heavy capital investment necessary to build and maintain their own VoIP systems. It's not as if companies who maintain their own infrastructure can't opt for this model. In fact, migrating to the hosted PBX way of working can result in tremendous cost savings and streamlining of processes.

But for those organizations who want to milk their VoIP hardware for all it's worth, the solution lies in what we call "SIP trunking". SIP trunking is a technology which essentially opens up a local IP PBX system to the outside world. It allows an existing VoIP network within the organization to make and receive calls from traditional PSTN lines. So while previously a company would maintain two networks – one for its internal use amongst its employees and one for regular contact with customers, they will now have just one straddling the two functions.

SIP Trunking and VoIP
SIP Trunking and VoIP

Making SIP Trunking Work

SIP trunking naturally requires the help of a third party who would provide this external connectivity. These Internet Telephony Service Providers or ITSPs for short act as an all-in-one shop for VoIP services. They will probably be able to handle customers requiring both hosted PBX as well as SIP trunking. It easier for them to simply supply a pipe to the outside world to those who already possess and maintain their in-house VoIP systems. But an ITSP also maintains their own VoIP systems and hardware for those who need to create a communication network from scratch. This is good news for organizations who require SIP trunking since it means that they need not migrate to another provider if they ever wish to move to the more convenient hosted PBX model.

While SIP trunking started off as a good idea for increasing the leverage of one's existing IT hardware, it is becoming increasingly rare as more businesses opt to outsource their entire VoIP communication systems rather than maintain in-house hardware. They do this for reasons of convenience and cost as well as predictability of cash flow. Find out how you can get started with an ITSP today by creating your own SIP account with them. You might find that a hosted VoIP system is the answer to all your needs.

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