First off: What is SIP Trunking?
A quick Wikipedia search reveals that SIP trunking is, in a nutshell, “a voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology and streaming media service based on the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) by which Internet telephony service providers (ITSPs) deliver telephone services and unified communications to customers equipped with SIP-based private branch exchange (IP-PBX) and unified communications facilities.”
Whew. The definition is a mouthful, to say the least, but stay with us.
Bypassing the geek speak, SIP trunking allows us to make and deliver phone calls, replacing traditional dial tone services (such as PRI and copper trunks), with a voice solution protocol that can ride across a company’s IT data connection.
Why would a business switch to SIP trunking?
Currently, due to aging infrastructures, dial tone providers are offering incentives to move from traditional services to SIP offerings and making the switch can also benefit your business in the following ways:
- Depending on the way a business operates, switching to SIP can often provide significant cost savings.
- Using SIP trunking alongside traditional dial-tone service can provide a redundant solution for your voice networks.
- SIP trunking is scalable and can easily be adjusted by adding or subtracting talk paths based on seasonal business requirements.
Challenges with the Business Phone System
Many aging telephone systems do not support SIP technology, and, for those that do, integration is not always easy. Each SIP trunk provider follows different programming protocols, presenting challenges for direct connections to telephone systems and preventing an easy, catchall fix.
Since protocols with this type of service do not have a defined programming standard across the board, many VoIP system providers require testing with the telephone system to provide a direct connection. Without this direct connection, an approved SIP Gateway is needed, adding another point of failure to your network.
For Mitel, our vendor of choice, this is where SIP Center of Excellence enters the picture. Mitel works with SIP trunk and SIP device providers to test, configure, and document offerings to confirm interoperability.
What does this process entail?
Senior voice engineer Ben Bruce recently worked side-by-side with Mitel on an extremely detailed and complex project validating Spirit Communications’ SIP trunk offering for the Mitel MiVoice Business (MiVB).
First a lab was built between the MiVB phone system, the Mitel Border Gateway, Mitel MiCollab, and NuPoint Voicemail. Then, Ben completed a 157-point test to confirm the SIP trunks would work in every imaginable way with various applications in the Mitel MiVB system.
Once testing was complete, captured SIP log files were then submitted to Mitel for review and final approval.
The good news? Spirit Communications SIP offerings are now tested and ready for Mitel MiVoice Business deployment.
What have we learned?
When adding SIP trunking, or even SIP devices to your communications infrastructure, always complete your due diligence. Although SIP is considered a standard, not all features and functionality seamlessly integrate into existing systems.
If you are considering adding SIP trunking to your voice network and still have questions