SIP Trunk Providers
If you are interested in using a VoIP phone service for your business, then you will need to know a few things about SIP trunking. A SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunk allows you to connect your PBX to the Internet, thereby allowing your internal VoIP system to be able to make and receive calls outside of your office.
If you plan on using VoIP for your office, you may need some kind of a SIP trunking service. To get started, check out our chart below to compare SIP trunking offers from different VoIP providers.
What is SIP Trunking?
SIP trunking is a service that allows you to make VoIP calls outside of your office. Without a SIP trunking service, you would only be able to use your VoIP system to make calls within your office system to other phones on your PBX.
There are three things you will need before you can get your SIP trunking service up and running:
- A SIP-enabled IP-PBX
- An enterprise border element (also called an enterprise edge component, these are often provided by your VoIP service provider)
- An ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider, like a VoIP provider)
You may already be familiar with a PBX. A PBX (public branch exchange) is a service that routes calls within your office. Originally, a PBX was a large piece of hardware, an actual switchboard, that had to be manually operated within an office. Today, you can still use a physical PBX or you can use a hosted PBX.
A hosted PBX is a service provided by your ITSP. With a hosted PBX, you get all of the services and functions of a PBX without the need for a physical PBX on your premises. Instead, your ITSP manages and maintains a PBX that automatically performs all of the call routing your office needs.
An IP PBX is just a PBX that uses IP, or Internet Protocol, to communicate between lines and with the PSTN (public switched telephone network, the infrastructure of the traditional telephone service system). An IP PBX can be a piece of hardware or it can be a hosted system.
The IP PBX in your office is on a LAN (local area network). A LAN is used to connect many computers in a small area. (You may be familiar with LAN as WiFi or Ethernet.) For the most part, SIP trunking uses a hardware-based IP PBX.
An enterprise border element is used to connect the IP-PBX or traditional PBX to the ITSP. A border element is either a firewall or an edge device that attaches to the firewall. Firewalls keep networks safe and manage traffic. Usually, a border element is managed by the SIP trunking provider.
When you have all of these elements, you can then begin to choose a SIP trunk provider.
SIP Trunk Providers
Most business VoIP providers also sell SIP trunking services, but there are also some companies that only sell SIP trunking. In essence, SIP trunking is a type of VoIP as it adapts your office telephone system to operate over the Internet instead of the PSTN. SIP trunking is ideal for a business that already has a full telephone system in place, but wants to use VoIP service instead of traditional telephone service. With a SIP trunk provider, you can keep all of the equipment you already have, and use them with an Internet telephone service. This means that you won’t have to buy a business VoIP plan or any new equipment, and you still get all of the savings of a VoIP phone system.
US VoIP and SIP Trunk Providers
- Nextiva: PBX Sip Trunking starts at $14.95/month, Business VoIP starts at$19.95/month
- Vonage Business Solutions: Extensions start at $19.99/month
- Jive: Smart PBX starts at $19.95/month
- 8x8, Inc.: 8x8 IP Trunking starts at $29.99/month, Virtual Office starts at $24.99/month
- RingCentral: Ring Central Office starts at $19.99/month
How can SIP Trunking save you money?
SIP trunking saves you money by providing your company with phone access through the Internet, rather than through a traditional telephone service provider. If your office phone system doesn’t need to connect to the PSTN anymore, you no longer need to pay for the service of the PSTN and the call connection fees.
This means that if you were currently using Verizon’s business phone plan, you would be paying $27.99/month for each line. If you had ten phone lines in your office, that would be $279.90/month plus taxes and fees. If you switched to a VoIP system like Nextiva, you could spend $14.95/month for the SIP Metered Plan.