Our mission is always to add value and create big wins for our customers. We place a high priority on providing clear and useful information so that business owners and managers can make informed choices. We hope the content you find here is helpful and as always, contact us any time to discuss other questions you have.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between SIP and VoIP?
Both terms refer to IP Telephony, which means voice communication delivered over an Internet connection. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a broader term that refers to this methodology in general. SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is a very specific term – the name of the signaling protocol that has been designed for transmitting voice and video communications over the Internet. So when you hear about VoIP phones, you know that this means that the phones in question are IP phones, and designed to operate within a data network that will be sending and receiving signals via the Internet. They will plug into a data port, and not a regular phone jack.
What is the difference between SIP and regular phone lines and regular Internet?
SIP is the evolution of voice services delivered over Internet. It is a specific protocol that facilitates the transmission of voice and video over the Internet. Traditional phones lines fall in one of two categories, each with other common name references: 1. POTS (Plain Old Telephone Services) - analog / copper – where it all started 2. Digital / PRI / ISDN – emerged during the 1980’s mostly to support data transfer between physical locations. ISDN stands for Integrated Services Data Network, and PRI stands for Primary Rate Interface. When an ISDN connection is primarily used for voice traffic, it is usually referred to as PRI. When an ISDN connection is used primarily for data, it is referred to as T1, but T1 and PRI are essentially the same thing – an ISDN connection. Both these categories of traditional lines involve physically connected cables. The PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) is very much a physically connected system. SIP channels are more virtual connections – they open and close (initiate and terminate) over the Internet as required, and facilitate the hand-off between the Internet and the PSTN as required. ‘Regular Internet’ is any form of Internet connection. SIP trunking is dependent upon adequate Internet connections.
How will I know if SIP trunking works for my situation?
The first thing to consider is the availability of reliable Internet services. If you have reliable Internet, you can adopt SIP trunking. dBm recommends against sharing voice and data traffic, by installing an Internet connection that is dedicated to voice. There could be exceptions, such as fibre optic, or other very high-capacity Internet, and where QoS settings can be implemented to give priority to voice traffic on your network. Any high-speed Internet connection usually will suffice. Satellite Internet service is not considered suitable. Ensure that you conduct a SIP trial before cutting over any existing lines to SIP. dBm facilitates this for customers. Please refer to our SIP Tip Sheet for further information. If you already have a slow network, you should not further overload it with voice traffic.
What are the benefits of SIP trunking?
Substantially lower cost compared to physical phone lines (typically at least 30% lower). Greater flexibility to add or delete lines, and add bursting for temporary increased capacity. Greater flexibility for acquisition and use of DID’s (Direct-in-Dial) numbers. You can obtain DID’s from almost any jurisdiction around the world. Very low long-distance rates
What are the potential drawbacks of SIP Trunking?
The quality of your phone service will be entirely dependent upon your Internet connection. If you lose your Internet, you lose your SIP lines and your phone connection. A back-up service is part of a strong implementation and what we assist our clients with. Putting everything onto one medium means one point of failure, and the loading and performance has to be considered.
I have talked to people using VoIP phones and I question the audio quality - it often sounds all broken up and I hear about dropped calls. Is this what all VoIP is like?
Implementing QoS (Quality of Service) settings that give priority to voice traffic is essential. With a proper implementation and good quality telephone equipment, the voice quality is actually considerably higher with SIP and VoIP.
I'm considering a new phone system. Isn't it important that I choose a system where I can use the handsets I already have?
It is likely true that in all cases, the cost of new handsets is the largest cost component of a new phone system. However, many new phone systems are being deployed that offer the choice between physical handsets and ‘softphones’ (such as a smartphone app), so it is no longer a given that there has to be a physical handset on every employee’s desk. If you can reuse your existing phones AND that would give you the functionality that you require, then of course that is a very attractive situation. You just have to be aware that while it is sometimes true that SIP handsets can be re-used, you will often only have very basic functionality available. Be very careful about this, and conduct trials to ensure you are aware of the specific functionality you can expect. This is because most phone systems are still based on proprietary implementations of standard protocols.
SIP Tip Sheet
Here are a few essential tips for a successful migration to SIP Trunking.
We would love to assist you in whichever manner you prefer:
1. One on one - Contact us to arrange for a no-charge, no-pressure consultation in your own office. We will discuss your present situation, your present costs and what you are getting for those costs, and what your ideal future telecom picture looks like. We will present clearly explained options, and the performance and cost factors associated with each option, and answer any questions you have. You may be happy to learn that you can bring in a new phone system and still reduce your overall telecommunication expense!
2. Attend one of our learning events - Please visit our Events page or contact us to learn more and register. These events (both live and webinars) include an educational component on SIP, VOIP and where businesses are finding cost savings. They will also include a brief demonstration of the Allworx VOIP / UC system to show you what is possible in current VOIP technologies and how they can benefit your customers, your employees and your bottom line.