A Crash Course in SIP Trunking

December 01, 2020
Written by
Reviewed by
Diane Phan

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Twenty years ago, when SIP trunking and VoIP were introduced on the world stage, we hadn’t yet dreamed of all of the ways that the internet would revolutionize how we connect with each other. Now, using the platform of our preference, unified communication online has become a part of our everyday lives.

Phone calls still hold strong as a tried-and-true method of communication in a world that loves text, email, and messaging. Increasingly, businesses are leaning on VoIP and SIP trunking to meet the demand for affordable (and scalable) person-to-person communication.

As we increase our reliance on online communication, SIP trunking frequently becomes the subject of conversation regarding digital transitions. Although SIP trunking is a hot topic, it can be easy to gloss over the basics of how it works and why it can be transformative for your business. Never fear, we’ve got you covered! Here’s everything you need to know about SIP trunking.

What is SIP Trunking?

SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunking refers to the process by which phone calls take place via an internet connection rather than traditional phone lines. By transmitting these calls online rather than through traditional phone lines, businesses can reach any customer around the world as long as they have a phone number.

SIP trunking uses an existing PBX, or private branch exchange, to route both inbound and outbound calls to the outside world. To utilize a SIP system, the traditional system and PBX must be connected to the cloud.

SIP trunking works by enabling your existing phone system to operate on the cloud, allowing businesses the flexibility needed to meet customers where they are. Calls are typically routed through your phone system via an on-premise PBX, through a SIP trunk, and onward to the outside world.

SIP Trunking vs VoIP

Although SIP trunking and VoIP work hand-in-hand, they are not the same.

VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol, refers to the general practice of using the internet to place voice calls. VoIP software was initially introduced in 1995 with the hopes of reducing the cost of long-distance and international phone calls. Since then, VoIP has become a secret weapon of sorts for businesses and people around the world, providing an affordable and scalable alternative to traditional, more costly PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) phone systems.

SIP trunking, which first appeared on the scene in 1996, refers to a specific technological practice through which traditional, analog phone lines can be connected to cloud-based systems utilizing VoIP technology to place calls online. SIP trunking helps to bridge the gap between traditional phone lines and completely cloud-based systems, allowing businesses to work with whichever system they already have. SIP trunking reaps high rewards in terms of efficiency, not only in regards to its financial benefits but also in the ease it provides its users.

Benefits of SIP Trunking

Converting a traditional phone system to a cloud-based system can help lower costs and provide businesses with the benefits that have previously existed only in digital communications software. Using a cloud-based or SIP system provides you with analytics and data insights on your calls that help improve your quality of service and the way that you interact with customers on a daily basis.

Think of these analytics as call center metrics. They can be used to determine how agents and employees interact with and help customers, as well as reveal the efficacy of your business’ standard operating procedures. Having access to this data allows you to make informed decisions about issues you may not have previously been able to access.

SIP trunking allows your business to scale in ways that traditional phone lines cannot while still enabling you to save money as your business grows. Part of what makes SIP trunking unique is that each SIP trunk has the bandwidth to process an infinite number of inbound and outbound calls, or SIP channels. Each channel acts like one phone call, making the channels the main cost variable in setting up your system.

Traditional phone lines rely on physical network setups that can get expensive quickly, whereas SIP systems can usually be set up and deployed remotely. This means that you only have to worry about your SIP system once—when you convert your traditional system to the cloud. After that, maintenance and growth are much smaller commitments.

Twilio & Elastic SIP Trunking

Ranked as the number one SIP trunking provider for customer satisfaction, Twilio’s Elastic SIP Trunking provides you with everything you need to deploy a global VoIP infrastructure within minutes from the Twilio Console or from our API.

Elastic SIP Trunking offers businesses the best possible support, leaving both you and your customers happy. Using Twilio, your calls are redundantly routed on our Super Network, making them more reliable around the world. Twilio Voice Insights provides your business with invaluable analytics on the micro-level, allowing you to troubleshoot and debug on the go.

Start building today or talk to a member of our team to get started. We can’t wait to see what you build!