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Introducing the General Availability of Twilio Elastic SIP Trunking


Today we are happy to announce the general availability of Twilio Elastic SIP Trunking. Today’s launch brings instant provisioning, contract-free transparent pricing and global availability to the world of SIP Trunking. The SIP industry modeled itself on the technology (and buying experiences) of the by-gone 1870s. Elastic SIP Trunking brings ease of use, internet scale, and a modern approach to using SIP.

We know SIP Trunking can seem pretty boring. PSTN connectivity for PBXs and Call Centers is mission critical stuff, but not everyone’s cup of tea. But there’s something that really intrigued us about SIP Trunking.

Even though SIP Trunking has been an option for providing dial-tone to IP infrastructure for nearly two decades, 80% of the world’s enterprises still use the technology that came before it – connecting voice over dedicated time-division multiplexed (TDM) lines. TDM, in case you weren’t paying attention in history class, encodes media in a digital binary signal, over a dedicated copper wire. It was invented in the 1870s. That’s before the first gasoline powered car was invented.

So let’s recap: 80% of enterprises are getting their voice connectivity using a means of transmission first invented for telegrams which is now nearly 150 years old, and only 20% of enterprises have managed to adopt the technology that launched around the same time as AOL were bringing out access to a thing called the ‘world wide web’ using a CD-ROM.

Weirdly, this was actually not completely surprising to us.

In the 6 years Twilio has been in business, we’ve become one of the largest consumers of carrier interconnections in the world. We’ve handled many billions of minutes of voice traffic and currently interconnect with carriers around the world. In the course of doing that, we’ve noticed one recurring theme about getting SIP Trunking connectivity, anywhere in the world. It. Is. So. Slow.

It’s slow to get pricing, because the traditional offerings have opaque pricing models more reminiscent of the 1870s tech that came before it than a real internet based offering. It’s slow to get configured, because it can take literally months of back and forth before the service can be configured. It’s slow to set up security features like encrypted media (SRTP) because it requires yet more manual back and forth. It’s slow to add new features, because you’re stuck waiting for your trunking provider or PBX vendor to add the thing they think you need. And it’s slow to expand your footprint, because you have to repeat this exercise with a new carrier for every region.

We believe SIP Trunking will be the defacto way for providing dial tone to IP infrastructure, and we felt companies needed a better way of achieving that, so we built Elastic SIP Trunking.

Elastic SIP Trunking takes our core carrier connectivity that we’ve spent years building and unbundles it from the rest of our product stack. You can provision a SIP trunk on demand, through the portal or the API, with inbound numbers in over 50 countries. Instead of months to deploy, it takes seconds. It uses our global cloud platform to dynamically connect your IP infrastructure to the closest of seven regions around the world, and from there selects the best carrier for connecting the call  based on real-time quality measurements using metrics like jitter, latency and MOS score. The architecture is built with resiliency in mind at every level.

We launched this in beta back in November, and have been delighted with the number of companies who we’ve been able to free from the slow procurement cycles and get them instantly provisioned. We’re now happy to say that the service is out of beta and generally available, backed up by a guaranteed SLA. In addition, we’re adding several security focused features which we’re rolling out in phases, including encrypted media (SRTP), dedicated connections (MPLS) and emergency services calling (E911). You can request early access to these features through the website or portal.

Twilio Elastic SIP Trunking features include:

  • Instant provisioning of trunks for inbound numbers from 50 countries and outbound calling to every country in the world
  • Transparent, pay as you go pricing with no capacity limits
  • Secure connections whether over MPLS or TLS/SRTP (early access)
  • E911 support for emergency service access (early access)
  • SIP Registration for extending connectivity directly to SIP phones (early access)
  • Numbers that can send and receive SMS and MMS
  • Data-driven routing that uses real-time quality measurements to dynamically route outbound calls to the best carrier
  • One-click call recording, with no additional hardware or per-user fees — just a simple per-minute charge for cloud storage of the recording.
  • Failover to powerful TwiML scripting to specify what failover logic should apply to replicate on-premise IP-PBX functions if a local internet outage occurs.
  • Multi-tenanted SIP Trunks with per-tenant billing records and logs, making it easy to track usage by department, account or use case all under one master account.
  • Accreditation with Edgewater’s Enterprise SBC, making it faster and easier to deploy in enterprises.
  • Backed by an SLA that provides a 10% or more service credit if Twilio falls below the SIP Trunking service availability commitment of 99.95%.
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