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SIP – A Powerful Protocol

When shopping for a new phone system you may also come across SIP (Session Initiation Protocol). This is a “signalling” protocol that’s used in VoIP communications and allows voice, video calls, internet conferencing and instant messaging. It has become a popular VoIP protocol with companies that provide unified communication (UC) solutions. UC applications give your business voice, video and streaming media capabilities like web conferencing.

To explain it differently, SIP is the underlying technology that starts a voice communication session over the internet (or another type of data network). This might be a VoIP phone call between two people or conference call with several parties.

This form of IP telephony uses SIP trunks and does the same job as a traditional phone line. No longer physical wire, these virtual phone lines or trunks connect your phone system back to the phone provider’s network.

SIP Trunking is another term you may come across when researching new phone systems. The SIP Protocol enables SIP Trunking, a virtual connection to the regular phone network or public switched telephone network (PSTN) over a physical line that is often shared over your existing data connection. SIP Trunking uses a packet switched model for making voice connections between people over a data network. When it’s combined with IP PBXs and IP VPNs it can transform the way your business handles phone calls and multimedia applications like video and unified communications.

By using SIP Trunking you can rationalise disparate legacy networks and reduce costs. It’s also an ideal way to introduce unified communications and multimedia.

SIP Trunking can help your business to replace ISDN and analogue phone lines with a simpler, more cost-effective alternative. Also, you can centralise your IP PBX to reduce equipment and carriage costs as well as provide a more consistent experience for your customers. And finally you can “converge” your voice and data networks to help reduce costs and use your bandwidth more efficiently.

SIP is designed to handle heavy data flow as the processing is not centralised. As a result, SIP is used by businesses with a lot of branches or remote workers that need multimedia communications.

SIP Trunking allows the voice and data traffic in your business to be carried over a single private IP virtual private network (VPN). This means you can reduce overall line rental and bandwidth costs as well as simplify maintenance as you have a single network.

Telephone systems are an important part of every small business. The terminology involved can be confusing. However, by understanding a little more about the underlying technologies you’re in a better position to make the right choice for your unique needs.

To find out more about communications options that’s right for your business, contact a Nextel Business Specialist today.

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