28 January 2015
The Scottish Government has recently established a framework for the provision of fixed telephony services which can be used by any public sector organisation within Scotland. As part of this framework, an option exists for customers to transfer their existing phone lines and take advantage of financial and technological benefits offered through SIP trunking.
What is Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking?
SIP provides a signalling communications protocol which can be used to control multimedia communications sessions, such as voice over internet protocol (VoIP).
In broad terms, SIP trunking is the use of VoIP to connect a traditional phone system (PBX) to the internet or data network connection. It replaces the analogue or digital (ISDN) lines with a virtual phone line provided via your internet connection.
A SIP trunk will provide you with the same or better level of service than you would get from a traditional fixed telephone line. The main difference is that instead of the calls being made using a physical wire, a SIP trunk is a “virtual” phone line which is provided by the Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP) or via your existing internet connection.
SIP trunking provides a bridge between current and next generation technology, allowing you to use your existing equipment (such as your PBX and phones) and still benefit from next generation services. Additional hardware may be required to connect to existing phone systems.
SIP trunking can provide a number of benefits to your organisation, including;
- SIP provides significant cost savings when compared with your standard ISDN costs as there are no physical lines to be maintained. On average these savings are estimated to be up to 50 per cent on line rental and around 25 per cent for your call costs.
- Consolidating your voice and data together over one network can reduce costs, no maintenance charges on two separate connections
- Provides free calls between SIP enabled sites
- Reduces capital expenditure and network administration costs
Reliability and availability
- A SIP trunk will provide the same or better service as digital or analogue lines
- SIP trunking is transparent to end users, they dial into the converged system in the same way as their traditional system
- SIP trunking can use either an internet or data network connection. Data network connections can offer a more secure and reliable service
- Flexible call routing, allowing calls to be routed to your selected location within a very quick turnaround (i.e. mobiles or a different office location)
- Puts the customer in control of their service by allowing you to add or take away lines as and when required (at the fraction of the cost compared to deploying ISDN). SIP Trunks can be deployed much faster than traditional ISDN circuits often within a matter of days
- Provides number flexibility which allows you to give your business a national or local presence and the ability to retain existing numbers
- Access to real time service reports
- Minimises disruption by re-routing calls through another location meaning a zero impact on your business and also saving you money on costly call forwarding options
- Number flexibility which supports disaster recovery plans (at a significantly reduced cost compared to ISDN)
- Prepares your infrastructure for future technology advances and innovations such as unified communications.
How do I switch to SIP?
The Scottish Government Fixed Telephony Services Framework Agreement provides SIP trunking as part of its service offering. A Buyers Guide is available at the link above that provides further details on the framework agreement.
For further information about the framework, or to discuss your potential requirement contact contact Dawn Swan, Senior Portfolio Specialist on 0141 242 5595.