SIP – Session Initiation Protocol, it may sound new and fancy and in some ways it very much is.
Traditional phone lines are comprised of an Analog signal delivered over a copper pair of wires. These Analog lines are susceptible to interferences like radio frequency noise; suffer from volume loss when used in conference calls or off premise call forwarding; and are slow at call setup with caller ID.
The next type of lines that appeared on the market were digital lines called ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) most often delivered over 2 pairs of copper wires on a circuit called a PRI. These types of lines resolved the issues that were common with Analog lines.
SIP lines – Session Initiation Protocol, are IP or Internet Protocol lines and allow for many of the same features of ISDN lines while being much more flexible on the delivery methods used. These delivery methods are the same as used for delivering the Internet; ADSL, Coax/Cable, Wireless, and Fiber. This allows a consolidation of resources typically to what’s often referred to as a “single pipe”. This single pipe would carry your Internet/Data traffic as well as your voice/SIP traffic.
This consolidation of resources is good news for the Telco Carriers as it allows them greater efficiency by utilizing a single network to carry both voice and data traffic with the result to customers typically being reduced costs.
SIP delivers a lot of the features that customers previously enjoyed via an ISDN PRI: direct lines, pooling of resources, multiple shared inbound & outbound line groups (sales / service / support), control of outbound call display, off premise transfers (cell phones or etc.), and better conference calling clarity.
A feature we recommend having in place in-case any Telco lines fail would be call forwarding to a cellphone, another office, or Analog line/s. With SIP being delivered via an internet connection we can redirect the lines destination IP address to more quickly reroute calls to another location in the event of a service interruption. This is great if an organization has multiple offices and we can set up routing statements to allow automatic SIP line redirects on internet failure.
Depending on the service provider, SIP is usually offered at a lower cost than your traditional Telephone lines. A single SIP line is $15-$25 each, if you purchase two or more of them it’s usually less and you may get a package price with an internet connection. The larger, more recognized Carriers are more likely to mimic some of their existing service offerings and would be considered more reliable but some of the newer Carriers offer more features like bursting and unlimited long distance for possibly less cost.
NATG can help you determine which line type makes the most sense for your business and ensure you get the solution that will best serve your business needs.