The trusted old Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), with its Analog lines, ISDN BRI, E1 or t1 lines, is to disappear. Telephony is moving from PSTN to much more modern and flexible SIP Trunks.
The big telecom providers are fast phasing out the old PSTN functionality, and are moving customers to IP. And so a SIP trunk and a phone system upgrade in the near future is going to be inevitable.
Phone companies like Verizon will phase out ISDN in the U.S. by 2018. In the UK, ISDN lines are down to less than 3 million lines, from 4.7 million lines in 2007 and the trend is accelerating. In 2017 major telcos such as BT, KPN, France Télécom, Deutsche Telekom and Telecom Italia began to phase out ISDN lines.
As a result Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking has increased by 62 percent in 2015 from the prior year, driven primarily by North America. The SIP Trunking service is usually provided by an internet service provider (ISP). Unlike a PTSN provider, the lines provided are not physical lines, but a service provided over your internet connection. The SIP Trunk Provider provides phone numbers and lines, usually at better rates than the traditional providers and with more flexibility and shorter contract durations.
This guide explains what SIP Trunks are, their advantages and how you can make the move.
SIP Trunks are phone line trunks delivered over IP using the SIP protocol. Using this standard protocol, telecom service (VoIP) providers connect one or more channels to the customer’s PBX. Phone numbers and DIDs are linked to the SIP trunk. In many cases numbers can be ported to the SIP Trunk.
Our farewell to the PSTN brings many benefits. SIP Trunks deliver:
The next step is to choose a SIP Trunk provider who will supply the necessary SIP Trunks. A few factors come into play when making this decision:
Once you have selected your SIP Trunk provider, consider a dedicated Internet line for the SIP Trunk. Most firewalls are able to handle multiple WAN connections, and, considering the low cost of an Internet line in most places, a separate VoIP connection will be the most reliable way to ensure the quality of your VoIP calls.
However, some SIP Trunk providers bundle their service with a dedicated Internet line. This keeps your voice traffic separate from your data traffic. Much will depend on the cost and your network infrastructure. Check that your firewall is up-to-date and will be capable of handling VoIP traffic correctly.
Chances are that the trusted old PSTN lines are connected into another old device, the hardware-based PBX system. This device is inflexible, difficult to manage and often expensive to maintain. Technically it is possible to buy a gateway that allows the old PBX to talk to the SIP Trunks. But why not upgrade to a modern IP PBX and leverage the flexibility and modern features IP telephony can bring to your business phone system. This allows you to take advantage of the cost savings, easy management, and productivity increases with full-scale Unified Communications that an IP PBX offers. You can choose from a hosted PBX, an appliance PBX, or a software-based PBX.
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