What is SIP?

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You may or may not have heard the term ‘SIP’,’ being thrown around in the world of business telecoms. Whether you’re a business owner yourself and looking at replacing your current phone system, or just interested to find out more, I have decided to break down exactly what SIP is.

I’ve had a lot of clients who, rightly so, aren’t quite sure what the different setups actually are so I want to make it simple and easy for us all to get our heads around.

What is it?

SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. It is the set of rules that allows you to initiate and terminate a communication session, whether it’s a voice call between 2 people or a video conference between a whole team, using an IP address.

How does it work?

SIP alone is really just the protocol that allows you to make the connection. SIP trunking is the service that allows you to put this protocol into use.

At BTT we work with Gamma, the UK’s leading SIP trunk provider. So to use ourselves as the example, the SIP trunk connects your site directly into the Gamma network (the ITSP), via an IP connection and will carry out and terminate your inbound and outbound voice calls across the PBX.

Providing a highly flexible alternative to ISDN, Gammas SIP trunks are compatible with all the leading IP PBX brands available on the UK market. I often have customers unsure as to whether they can utilize their current PBX when upgrading to SIP, with our product you can rest assured that your PBX hardware will undoubtedly work alongside this service.

Compared to ISDN, SIP trunks are cheaper on a per-channel basis and more flexible in terms of what telephone numbers you can have and the locations in which you can have them. They are quicker to install and offer a robust business continuity service that ensures your business never loses any calls.

How can SIP benefit my business?

There is a vast range of benefits when it comes to upgrading your phone system to SIP, let’s take a look at some of the key factors:

  • Flexibility with phone numbers
    SIP trunking enables you to move office and keep the same geographic number without any further costs, along with the benefit of out of area phone numbers. You won’t need to change your number, which is costly in ways you may not even think about – e.g. stationery.
  • Business Continuity
    Should your office need to be temporarily relocated, SIP trunking allows you to take your phone lines with you quickly and cost-effectively, keeping your business working.
  • Save Money
    IP connectivity costs less than ISDN with lower call costs; free internal calls between sites and free calls to UK local/national and mobiles. It is often stated that you can save up to 50% in comparison to traditional phone services.
  • Resilience
    SIP will cope with any situation. Whether you need to keep your business running in an emergency or you need to balance your calls during peak hours, this product delivers.
  • Line Rationalisation
    When it comes to businesses with multiple sites, SIP trunking allows you to reduce the number of PBX’s you need to maintain, whilst retaining full control of the numbers associated with your business.
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