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What is Auto Provisioning in VoIP Phones?

Updated on November 21, 2011

VoIP Configuration

VoIP still hasn't reached a stage where it's as convenient to set up compared to the traditional PSTN phone system. But the POTS is a specialized service which has literally had decades to insinuate itself into our local infrastructure and consciousness. It's been refined and tweaked to the point where its workings are almost invisible to the everyday phone user. VoIP has yet to reach such a high level of integration and so setting it up isn't as easy as simply plugging a phone into your wall. But as time passes, more and more companies are making it easier to configure.

One of the areas which need to be worked on is configuring the "SIP client." An SIP client is a fancy word for a VoIP phone. But unlike a traditional phone, it can take several forms. It can be a piece of software running on your PC or even your smartphone. Or it could be in the shape of a normal phone. But instead of having a wire going to a telephone plug point, it has an ethernet cable that connects it to the Internet. There are many configuration possibilities for a VoIP phone and this can add to the complexity and confusion of setting up VoIP. This is where Automatic provisioning comes in.

Automatic VoIP Phone Provisioning
Automatic VoIP Phone Provisioning

Automatic Configuration

Every SIP provider has a slightly different way of working. It's still relatively early days for VoIP and so this hasn't been completely standardized. Some providers give you telephone numbers to log in, and others give you normal usernames. Some ask for details such as STUN servers and Outbound Proxies, while others do without it. The various codecs supported vary as well. Configuring your VoIP client to run with your specific provider can be difficult and time consuming. Sure you can always call your ITSP, but there are so many VoIP phone models, that they might not know out without looking at the phone first.

How much simpler if you could just receive your new VoIP phone, plug it in and let it configure itself with the SIP provider! And that is what Automatic provisioning is. Your ITSP ties up with a VoIP phone manufacturer and when you purchase VoIP service, you can opt for those phones made by their partners. These will come preconfigured with all the necessary details and will even connect directly to the service for automatic updates, patches and features. It's truly a "plug and play" service. Such automatic configuration also ensures that the VoIP system runs smoothly and provides clear HD voice services for example.

Hosted VoiP phone systems also ensure that you don't have to maintain and upgrade your VoIP infrastructure, or manage expensive servers. Contact your ITSP to find out how to get started.


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      Enterprise sip trucking Chilliwack 5 years ago

      My company is setting up Fonalities VoIP phone system with PBXtra. We are going to create an IP Scope for the phones and hardwire their MAC addresses to these phones. Is there any way to make this scope provide boot image info using a DHCP config option in case we need to re-provision the phones?

    • john000 profile image

      John R Wilsdon 6 years ago from Superior, Arizona

      I for one, am interested in VOIP. With the price of everything rising, VOIP seems to be a service whose time has come. Your article highlights the use of automatic provisioning. I am aware of this now because of your hub. Thanks.