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What is a SIP Proxy and How Does a SIP Server Work?

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We write a lot about SIP. That’s because we have been a leading SIP trunk provider for over twenty years. Read on to learn more about SIP servers and how they work.

What is a SIP Server?

A SIP server or SIP proxy processes session initiation protocol (SIP) requests. This server is the main element of an IP private branch exchange. SIP is an internet protocol used to initiate and receive voice and video communication by transmitting data packets across an internet connection. This enables the quick and easy transmission of SIP calling between 2 or more parties.

How Does a SIP Server Work?

A SIP server works alongside a voice over IP or VoIP phone system. Both systems together make cloud communications possible. A SIP proxy can:

  • Set up a session between 2 or more endpoints; such as audio or video conferencing between 2 or more parties
  • Replace one endpoint for another; during call transfer or routing
  • Negotiate and adjust media parameters and specs during a session; such as putting a call on hold
  • Terminating a session

It is important to note that the SIP server does not actually transmit media. Media transmission is performed by a media server using the RTP protocol. Within an IP-PBX, the SIP server and media server are present on the same machine. However, a high-volume SIP server like a VoIP provider may separate the two servers on different machines and balance the load.

Additionally, there is no fee or charge to get a SIP address for your server. These addresses connect to unique phone numbers. This enables each user on a SIP network to have a direct inward dialing number to place calls. Furthermore, companies can use these systems in a package such as a hosted PBX.

SIP Proxies: Modes of Operation

A SIP server generally operates in one of two modes: Stateless or Stateful.

1. Stateless SIP Proxy: This type of SIP proxy receives and transmits messages but does not keep any record of the transmission. A stateless SIP proxy works this way: Send > Receive > Delete. This server works at a faster speed because of its limited functionality. Additionally, this simplicity in functioning makes it desirable to small businesses as they can easily scale and upgrade their SIP system.

2. Stateful SIP Proxy: This type of SIP server transmits as well as stores messages and information to access later. Because of this functionality, it can pick up a request message and try again. Or, it can reroute the message through another aspect of the network. A stateful SIP proxy works this way: Send > Receive > Save. An example of this is Time of Day Routing that routes incoming calls based on the time of day and predetermined rules. For example, calls made to a business after hours can be forwarded to a different office location or remote agent.

What Does SIP Trunking Do?

SIP trunking is a service that enables your PBX system to send VoIP and SIP calls over the internet. This service works with virtual telephone lines and sends and receives messages through bandwidth data. You can get multiple SIP trunks and cover various geographic areas. SIP trunking makes it possible for your business to expand operations beyond your immediate location.

An image of a SIP proxy and server.

Benefits of a SIP Proxy and SIP Trunking

SIP servers and SIP trunking have become increasingly popular with businesses of every size. Here are the top benefits of switching to SIP:

1) Enable Unified Communications
SIP trunking enables voice, video, and text messaging from one platform. There’s no need to invest in different services to keep your communications stable. You can make and receive high-quality calls, audio and video conferencing, and texting from SIP trunking.

2) Forward Calls
With a SIP server, you can quickly and easily forward or direct incoming calls to several SIP and VoIP devices. This is helpful for any office with a busy call volume. Plus, with a stateful SIP proxy, you can save and access calls or messages that didn’t go through the first time and try again later.

3) Cut Communication Costs
VoIP and SIP are in demand because it not only offers high-quality communication but also a comfortable price. Sending and receiving voice, video, and text over a SIP server costs almost nothing to users.

4) Network Security
Secure VoIP is a necessity within any business. A SIP server protects your communication system from hackers by disconnecting calls and users without credit or authorization.

5) Access to VoIP Features
With SIP trunking, you can gain access to useful voice over IP features that can help organize calls and provide a professional image to your business. Features include, but are not limited to;

  • Call forwarding and routing options
  • Automated greetings
  • Analytics and reports
  • Unlimited extension, and so many more

Where Can I Get SIP Trunking?

United World Telecom can help! You can buy SIP trunks directly from our website or contact one of our experts to learn more.

What is SIP Calling?

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Communicating effectively with customers is crucial to the successful running of any business. It is through your customers that you can improve your product and increase sales. And so, if your business isn’t doing everything it can to make it easy for customers to connect with you, then you are falling behind. Learn what SIP calling is, how it works, and how businesses can benefit from using a SIP phone system for business communication.

SIP Calling: The What, How, & Why

To understand SIP calling (or SIP trunking), you must first be familiar with Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). SIP is a signaling protocol that initiates real-time voice calling between two or more parties. This IP is in charge of starting, maintaining, and terminating the call over an internet network. By doing so, SIP technology makes it possible for users to make and receive high-quality calls over a virtual network. Let’s look at how SIP calling works and how businesses can use SIP for improved communication.

What are SIP Calls?

SIP calls use Session Initiation Protocol to transmit voice calls over a SIP trunk or SIP channels. In other words, SIP calls are voice calls sent over an internet protocol or internet connection.

Often used interchangeably with voice over IP or VoIP calls, the two systems are different. VoIP makes SIP calls possible. This is because SIP uses VoIP technology to transfer calls from one end to another destination over a stable internet connection.

How Does a SIP Call Work?

Traditional phone systems consist of a PBX system and phone lines connecting to a PSTN.

SIP technology removes the need for a traditional, physical connection. With SIP, you do not need to be connected to a phone company or geographical location. And, you do not need multiple phone lines for different departments. You will get a SIP trunk, instead, to run your virtual phone system. You can then establish voice communications virtually via the internet.

And what’s the end result? You can get a virtual phone system with call management and call routing features (global call forwarding, outbound calling, etc.) without physical or multiple phone lines. This system can be used from any location, connecting multiple devices.

Why Does Your Business Need SIP Calling? 5 Benefits of SIP Calls

So, how can SIP calling benefit your business? From being a cost-effective alternative to creating a unified communications platform, SIP trunking can help businesses organize their internal and external communications to connect better and increase productivity and efficiency. Let’s look at the top benefits of SIP calling for business:

1. Save on Business Calling Costs
First and foremost, the cost of SIP calling is highly affordable for businesses needing multiple phone lines and with various departments. Not only can you make and receive high-quality voice calls inexpensively, but you can also bypass international calling rates when offering global customer support.

2. Scale Up or Down as Needed
SIP trunks are designed to support a business’ scalability needs. This means that if you need to scale up and add more direct inward or outward dial numbers, you can do so easily. And the same goes for scaling down; that is, removing lines or pausing certain services and features. And most of these actions can be done by you, reducing the number of times you will panic-call your SIP provider.

3. Improve Communications with Better User Experience
SIP trunks, and SIP technology generally, are easy to use. You do not need to employ new IT teams or conduct rigorous training or worry about setting up complicated software. You and your employees can simply manage everything from a user interface provided by your SIP provider. Use this interface or control panel to set up features and service, make changes or adjustments, add lines, and more.

4. Experience High-Quality Voice Calls
When using SIP, your business no longer relies on physical landlines. This means that your communication system does not easily fall apart due to power outages or weather conditions. SIP calling utilizes redundancy to automatically reroute calls from one location to another if the previous location’s user is unavailable or inactive. This is a reliable way to make and receive high-quality business calls.

5. Offer Excellent Customer Service
Never miss calls by routing them to different locations, in case the first is unavailable. Reduce the number of dropped calls or low-quality calls. All of these factors come together to help your business offer excellent and uninterrupted customer service to not only local but global customers as well.

Get SIP Calling with United World Telecom

With a SIP phone system in place, your business is gearing up to communicate with your customers conveniently and cost-effectively. Learn more about how SIP trunking can boost business communication by chatting with our experts or calling us at 1 (877) 898 8646.

SIP Response Codes: A Complete Guide

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Learn about SIP response codes, how they function, and the different types of response codes available. Understanding SIP codes can help you identify issues within your communication system.

What are SIP Response Codes?

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a signaling protocol used to facilitate and control communication sessions. As such, SIP lets users make and receive calls over the internet instead of traditional phone lines. This paves way for unified communications by enabling the transmission and sharing of voice, video, and other files.

A SIP session is based on a request/response transaction. Therefore, each session consists of a SIP request and at least one SIP response. Response codes indicate the status of the SIP request when making a connection between two or more parties.

How Do SIP Response Codes Work?

SIP responses use a 3-digit response code to outline or detail the status of a SIP request. For example, was the SIP request accepted, was it a bad request, and so on. These codes are divided into 6 broad categories, namely:

  1. Informational/Provisional
  2. Success
  3. Redirection
  4. Client error/Request failures
  5. Server error
  6. Global failure/error

These codes also contain a “reason phrase” which can be varied to provide additional information or in a different language.

Different Types of SIP Response Codes

So, what are the different types of SIP response codes and what do they indicate? Important abbreviations to be aware of:

  • User Agent Client (UAC) – initiates the requests
  • User Agent Server (UAS) – responds to the requests
  • Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) – a string of characters that unambiguously identify a particular resource

Here we will look at each response code in each category in detail:

1xx = Informational SIP Responses

1xx SIP response codes are sent at any time when a connection between two parties is being created. Common 1xx codes are:

100 – Trying: The request was received and an extended search or unspecified action is being performed.

180 – Ringing: The user agent has received an INVITE (SIP request code) and is alerting the user.

181 – Call is Being Forwarded: The call is being forwarded to another destination, receiver, endpoint.

182 – Queued: Indicates that the destination is temporarily unavailable and the server has placed the call in queue.

183 – Session Progress: Provides information about the progress of the call.

199 – Early Dialog Terminated: Indicates that an early dialogue has been terminated. Usually sent by the User Agent Server.

2xx = Success Responses

2xx codes indicate that the SIP request was received, understood, and accepted. Common 2xx codes are:

200 – OK: Indicates that the request was successful.

202 – Accepted: Indicates that UAS has received and accepted the request, but it has not been authorized or processed by the server yet.

204 – No Notification: Indicates that the request was successful. However, no response will be received.

3xx = Redirection Responses

3xx response codes inform the UAC about redirections and further action is needed to complete the request or reach the UAS.

300 – Multiple Choices: The request address returned several choices with different locations. The UA can select one of several options of endpoints to redirect the request.

301 – Moved Permanently: The user is no longer at the address used in the request. The original request URI is no longer valid. A new address will be provided in the Contact header field. This address should be saved and used in the future.

302 – Moved Temporarily: A new address will be provided in the Contact header field. The UAC should try the new address. This address should not be saved for the future.

305 – Use Proxy: To access the destination and address, a proxy is required. The proxy will be displayed in the Contact field.

380 – Alternative Service: The call failed, but alternatives are noted in the message body.

4xx = Request Failures/Client Error

4xx response codes indicate that the message was not processed due to an error. The request may include bad syntax and therefore cannot be fulfilled at this server

400 – Bad Request: Indicates that the request could not be understood.

401 – Not Authorized/Unauthorized: Indicates that the request requires user authentication.

403 – Forbidden: Indicates that the server is refusing to fulfill the request, even though it has understood it.

404 – Not Found: The user does not exist in that particular domain.

405 – Method Not Allowed: The method specified in the Request-Line is understood, however, it is not allowed.

406 – Not Acceptable: The resource can only generate responses with unacceptable content.

407 – Proxy Authentication Required: Similar to the 401 code, the request requires user authentication.

408 – Request Timeout: The server couldn’t find the user within a suitable time frame.

409 – Conflict: User already registered (deprecated).

410 – Gone: The user is not available here anymore.

411 – Length Required: The server needs a valid content length before accepting the request.

412 – Conditional Request Failed: The given precondition has not been met.

413 – Request Entity Too Large: Indicates that the request message body is too large.

414 – Request URI Too Long: The server refuses to accept the request. This is because the request URI is longer than the server can interpret or understand.

415 – Unsupported Media Type: Requested message body is in a format that is not supported by the server.

416 – Unsupported URI Scheme: The request URI is unknown to the server or not supported by the server.

417 – Unknown Resource-Priority: Indicates that a resource-priority option tag was present, but without a Resource-Priority header.

420 – Bad Extension: Bad SIP Extension was used. The SIP extension is not understood by the server.

421 – Extension Required: The server requires a specific SIP extension that is not listed in the supported header.

422 – Session Interval Too Small: The request contains a Session-Expires header field with a duration or interval that is too small or below the minimum.

423 – Interval Too Brief: Similar to 422, the expiration time of the resource is too short.

424 – Bad Location Information: The request’s location content was unsatisfactory or “bad.”

428 – Use Identity Header: An Identity header field is required by the server policy and one has not been provided.

429 – Provide Referrer Identity: The server has not received a valid Referred-By token on the request.

430 – Flow Failed: A specific “flow” that was sent to a user agent has failed. However, other flows may succeed.

433 – Anonymity Disallowed: The request was rejected since it was anonymous.

436 – Bad Identity Info: The request has an Identity-Info header filed and the URI contained cannot be identified.

437 – Unsupported Certificate: The server could not validate a certificate for the domain that signed or sent out the request.

438 – Invalid Identity Header: Server obtained a valid certificate used to sign a request. However, the server could not verify the signature.

439 – First Hop Lacks Outbound Support: The first outbound proxy doesn’t support the “outbound” feature.

440 – Max-Breadth Exceeded: A client that received a 440 response can interpret that its request did not reach all possible destinations.

469 – Bad Info Package: A 469 response indicates that the receiver is not willing to accept this Info Package.

470 – Consent Needed: The source of the request did not have the recipient’s permission to make such a request.

480 – Temporarily Unavailable: The recipient is currently unavailable.

481 – Call/Transaction Does Not Exist: The server received a request that does not match any dialogue or transaction.

482 – Loop Detected: Server has detected a loop.

483 – Too Many Hops: Max-Forwards header has reached the value ‘0.’

484 – Address Incomplete: The requested URI is incomplete.

485 – Ambiguous: The request-URI is ambiguous.

486 – Busy Here: The recipient is busy.

487 – Request Terminated: Request has terminated or canceled.

488 – Not Acceptable Here: Parts of the session description of the request URI are not acceptable.

489 – Bad Event: The server could not understand an event package specified in an Event header field.

491 – Request Pending: Server has some pending requests from the same dialogue.

493 – Undecipherable: The request contains an encrypted MIME body, which the recipient can not decrypt.

494 – Security Agreement Required: The server has received a request that needs a negotiated security agreement.

5xx = Server Errors

5xx response codes indicate that there’s an issue with the server and it has, therefore, failed to fulfill a valid request.

500 – Server Internal Error: The request could not be fulfilled due to some unexpected condition.

501 – Not Implemented: The SIP request method is not implemented here.

502 – Bad Gateway: An invalid response was received from a downstream server while trying to fulfill a request.

503 – Service Unavailable: The server is in maintenance or temporarily overloaded. Therefore, cannot process the request.

504 – Server Time-out: The server tried to access another server while attempting to process a request. However, there was no timely response.

505 – Version Not Supported: The SIP protocol version in the request is not supported by the server.

513 – Message Too Large: The length of the request message is longer than the server can process.

555 – Push Notification Service Not Supported: The server does not support the push notification specified in the SIP URI parameter.

580 – Precondition Failure: The server is unable or unwilling to meet the constraints specified in the request.

6xx = Global Failures/ Global Error

The request cannot be completed at any server.

600 – Busy Everywhere: All possible destinations are busy.

603 – Decline: Destination cannot participate in the call and there are no alternative destinations.

604 – Does Not Exist Anywhere: The requested user does not exist anywhere.

606 – Not Acceptable: The user’s agent was contacted successfully. However, certain aspects of the session description are not acceptable.

607 – Unwanted: The call is unwanted by the recipient. Future attempts are likely to be similarly rejected.

Buy Quality SIP Trunks from United World Telecom

Buy SIP trunks from us and improve the way your business communicates with advanced features, high voice quality, and competitive rates. Sign up on our website or speak with our specialists to learn more!

Related: SIP Trunk Pricing Breakdown (2020)

5 Unified Communications Trends You Need to Know in 2021

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Every year, businesses need to check themselves and see how they stack up against not just competition, but market trends. This is where unified communications trends of 2021 come in. How can businesses continue to improve their communication system and, by extension, maintain productivity and manage remote teams?

Unified Communications Trends: 2021

The unified communications trends for 2021 seem to focus not only on increased productivity, advanced technology, and better customer service but also on ways to improve employees’ experience and team collaboration. Read on for the top UC trends for 2021 that businesses should keep in mind.

1. Adoption of UCaaS

One of the top UC trends is the growing adoption of UCaaS. Large companies and enterprises are investing in unified communications as a service as a business communication system. This is because UCaaS consolidates major communications channels and platforms such as voice, video, SMS, and email in the cloud. And by combining all of these applications and channels in one place, UCaaS boasts a cost-effective and organized business phone system.

2. Rising Presence of AI

As can be seen with most industries, artificial intelligence (AI) is slowly expanding and making its way in major processes. Telecom and business communication is no stranger to AI. However, a growing unified communications trend sees AI becoming a more common tool. Think: virtual chatbots, virtual assistants, integrated services, and more. The implementation of AI resonates with the goal of using technology to improve productivity and collaboration and achieve faster and more accurate results.

3. More Cloud Solutions

Cloud communication solutions continue to be on the list of UC trends. And this is simply because cloud computing and storage have been in great demand and used by almost every business. According to a 2019 study conducted by Nemertes, about 67% of companies are currently using some part of their UC cloud solution while a third of those companies are using their UC cloud solution to the fullest extent. Because of this, UC providers are looking at partnerships, affiliations, and integrations that enable users to take advantage of more comprehensive cloud solutions.

4. Rise of Global SIP

As businesses across the world are renewing and improving their global communication systems, it is important for your company to stay ahead of the game. Global SIP gives multinational businesses the ability to expand with ease and reduce communication-related costs. With SIP trunking from VoIP providers, your business can place focus on voice network infrastructure, offer multichannel and multimedia support, and have access to centralized cloud communications.

5. Focus on EX as well as CX

While most UC trends are focused on improving customer experience (CX), in 2021, focus has shifted to employee experience (EX). Improved EX directly leads to enhanced CX, which at the end of the day should be every business’ goal. Unified communications can help employees become more efficient; efficient employees reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction.

Switching to UC for Business

Unified communications can vastly improve your business’ productivity while ensuring it stays in the game with advanced telecom technology. Find out how United World Telecom can help your business; speak with one of our experts today!

SIP Line vs. SIP Trunk: What’s the Difference?

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Many businesses offering local and international services often wonder if there is any way to modernize and enhance communications without receiving overwhelming bills each month. Well, SIP trunking and SIP lines make a fine solution. Let’s look at the difference between a SIP trunk and line so you can get the phone system that works best for you.

SIP Line vs SIP Trunk: Understanding the Difference

Oftentimes the terms SIP line and SIP trunk are used interchangeably. However, there are two components that work together and are not the same thing. Here we explain what each term entails so you have a better understanding.

What is a SIP Line?

SIP lines are also called SIP channels or SIP sessions. A SIP line is an element of a SIP trunk through which data can be exchanged between two points. A SIP trunk holds large numbers of SIP lines or channels. During calls, a SIP channel is the unit’s capacity to support an incoming or outgoing call. In other words, each call uses one channel.

And so, companies needing SIP lines are more than satisfied by one SIP trunk. However, exactly how many lines your business needs depends on the number of concurrent or simultaneous calls you handle per day. SIP providers offer a variety of plans:

  • Unlimited channels
  • Unlimited channels with a fixed number of session minutes
  • Fixed number of channels with unlimited minutes
  • Multiple trunks for multiple offices on the same network

What is a SIP Trunk?

SIP trunks connect your business’ private branch exchange or PBX system to the internet. In other words, it converts your traditional phone system into a virtual or digital version.

As noted above, a SIP trunk holds SIP channels and makes concurrent SIP calling possible. In VoIP phone systems, a SIP trunk can hold about a hundred SIP channels. These lines can be distributed across different departments, devices, and so on.

SIP trunking enables your business to make and receive calls over the internet instead of a traditional POTS line. This way, this method of communication supports both traditional as well as VoIP phone systems. With SIP trunking, you can transmit voice, video, text, and other unified communications.

Benefits of SIP Trunking

Why should your business consider SIP trunking as part of your communication system? Here are some ways SIP trunking benefits businesses:

1. Unified Communications: With SIP trunking, you can handle voice, video, and text transmission through one platform. Additional services are not required.

2. Low Cost and Set-up: SIP trunks don’t need extensive hardware or software to function. A reliable internet connection is more than enough.

3. International Coverage: With SIP trunking, your local and international business calling bills reduce tremendously.

4. Scalability: You can always add extra SIP lines to your SIP trunk if/ when needed. Again, there is no extensive set-up or installation required.

5. Tools for Better Customer Service: By providing voice, video, and text communication, you can enhance customer support by adding video conferencing, text messaging, and file-sharing.

Does Your Business Need a SIP Line or SIP Trunk?

The decision really isn’t one or the other. This is because SIP channels work within a SIP trunk. The real question is, how many channels does your business need?

A SIP trunk can host multiple SIP lines, allowing for multiple concurrent calls to occur simultaneously. In other words, if your business has 250 SIP lines, it can handle 250 calls at the same time. Each call takes up 1 SIP line.

Similarly, SIP trunking prices or monthly fees will depend on how many lines your SIP trunk holds. To determine this, you will need to know how many incoming and outgoing calls occur during a day. Work with your sales, marketing, and customer service teams to get an approximate number.

If your business does not receive or make a large number of calls per day, then you may choose to have a few employees or small teams on each SIP line. Additional SIP lines can be added later.

Connect SIP Trunks to Your Phone System Today!

Think SIP trunking is the way to go? We at United World Telecom can help you buy SIP trunks. Add premium call management features such as call forwarding, call recording, IVR, outbound calling, and more. Call us today to sign up!

What is Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)?

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In this comprehensive post, we will explain Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and its important features.

What is Session Initiation Protocol?

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is an internet signaling protocol that is used to initiate, maintain, and terminate real-time voice and video communication. An internet protocol is a set of rules for routing packets of data across a network. SIP is often used for mobile phone calling over LTE and in IP telephony systems.

It enables businesses to take their communications to the next level, by enabling not just voice-sharing but video conferencing and text messaging as well. Unified communications are made possible for an organization through SIP.

Important SIP Features

Note that SIP is a signaling protocol. In other words, it doesn’t handle the specifics of multimedia sessions. Other protocols such as the Sessions Description Protocol and Real-Time Transport Protocol handle media details and data delivery respectively.

Session Initiation Protocol initiates a call between two or more people where the SIP client establishes specifics of the request. The other party can choose to accept or reject it. This transmission is done securely through Transport Layer Security (TLS).

Additionally, Session Initiation Protocol makes it possible for users with different service providers to interact and communicate. It can boost your IP telephony call with a process called SIP trunking.

Session Initiation Protocol versus Voice over IP

SIP and VoIP are often used interchangeably and therefore, it is important to understand the difference between these two types of technology. See below:

SIP Trunking Voice over IP Tech
Signaling protocol within VoIP Family of technologies related to communications
Multimedia transmission Only voice messages transmitted
Requires only a modem VoIP devices need to be connected to a computer
Uses a peer-to-peer system to handle large amounts of data Uses a central network to organize and transmit traffic

Benefits of Session Initiation Protocol

Why do businesses benefit from SIP trunking and why should you consider this service for your communication system? It’s simple: SIP and SIP trunking can boost and enhance communications in a multitude of ways. It is not only cost-effective but provides phone solutions to improve internal and external communication. Here are some of the top benefits of SIP trunking.

A HIghly Cost-Effective Service
SIP calls are routed over the internet and by doing so, this gives you the ability to contact local and long-distance contacts for cheaper calling rates. Pricing for a SIP trunking service is pretty straightforward. You sign up for a monthly subscription and your bill remains predictable. Furthermore, most SIP providers do not require you to sign long-term contracts. Check out our detailed analysis of SIP trunking prices for your information.

Tools to Expand Internationally
Part of growing your business globally involves creating strong communication channels between your company and its customers. SIP trunking paired with virtual phone numbers is a great solution for businesses looking to expand their reach into international markets. You can reduce your calling costs while providing convenient (and even free) ways for customers to connect with you through local numbers and toll free service.

One Platform for All Communications
You can transmit voice, video, text, and more via SIP channels. This technology makes multimedia communication possible from one platform, instead of having it spread across 4-5 different services or software. This can help increase office productivity and reduce costs that can build up from different platforms.

More Session Initiation Protocol Resources

Contact us at 1 (877) 898 8646 if you want to learn more about Session Initiation Protocol and let an expert help you through the process!

SIP Trunking vs VoIP: Understanding the Difference

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To decide whether your business needs SIP trunking or VoIP technology, you must first understand what these communication services are and how they differ. Here we will discuss in detail how these two types of technology operate so you can make an informed decision when choosing between them.

Difference Between SIP Trunking and VoIP Technology

SIP and VoIP are often used interchangeably, which is why they can be misunderstood. SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol while VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Both of these services provide foundations for IP technology. That is, they enable users to make and answer calls over the internet (or virtual phone lines) as opposed to traditional phone lines or PSTN lines. But there are a few key differences that set them apart, let’s have a look.

What is VoIP? The Basics

Voice over IP or VoIP technology is a business phone solution that transmits voice messages over the internet. It converts voice into digital signals and sends them to the destination number or endpoint. To use this service, you will require a VoIP phone and VoIP system. Most providers will even offer you unlimited calling minutes as a better deal. And so, for basic voice communication, VoIP is an affordable and practical solution.

SIP Trunking Explained

SIP trunking enables the transmission of multimedia and unified communications over the internet. SIP technology builds on voice over IP to provide not only voice but other communication as well. That is, video messaging, text messaging, file and document sharing, and so on. SIP trunking, therefore, works as an all-inclusive phone solution.

For a business looking to provide multi-channel communication, SIP technology is an ideal solution. This is because it is more affordable than using multiple different platforms/services as all communication tools needed are located in one place.

SIP vs VoIP

Now for the difference between the two types of virtual telephony solutions:

1. Type of Sessions Transmitted — VoIP calls handle only one type of session and that is voice communication. SIP calls, on the other hand, handle multimedia sessions such as voice, video, text, etc.

2. Operation — VoIP calls operate only over an internet connection and need a computer to run the software. VoIP handsets, for example, must be attached and connected to a computer to be used. A SIP trunk, on the contrary, can work over any network; this includes ISDN, VPN, or the internet. Plus, SIP equipment can operate by itself and does not depend on a computer to function.

3) Handling of Traffic — Both systems differ in terms of how they handle traffic. SIP systems work along with an office’s private branch exchange or PBX system. These systems are designed to manage large amounts of traffic and data. You can also add an extra layer of security by getting a direct connection to your provider. VoIP technology, on the other hand, handles traffic from a central network, where a provider oversees everything. This is perfect for businesses that do not have the experience or time to manage their own systems. However, on the downside, such central networks can easily be overloaded by heavy traffic.

Choosing One for Your Company

Deciding whether your company needs SIP trunking or voice over IP technology depends on the type of communications you want to set up. The choice is not really one over the other because SIP is an advanced version of VoIP. Both services can boost your company’s phone system by offering more reliable and cost-saving options. Based on how you want to communicate internally and externally determines whether you need only voice or multimedia sessions. You can get both SIP and VoIP with United World Telecom. Sign up on our homepage or contact us to learn more.

Hosted PBX versus SIP Trunking: What’s the Difference?

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When switching to a cloud phone system for your company’s communications, owners often have to decide between a hosted PBX and SIP trunking. Here we will discuss what these two types of service are so you can make the right decision based on your needs.

Hosted PBX versus SIP Trunking: Key Differences

In order to decide whether your company can benefit from a hosted PBX  or SIP trunking, it is important to first understand what each of these services is capable of achieving. Other factors to consider are:

  • Costs
  • Level of expertise required
  • Company size and calling (or call management) requirements
  • Security needs

But first, let’s look at these services and their benefits individually.

What is a Hosted PBX?

If you want a system handled and managed offsite, then a hosted PBX service will be more in line with your needs. Other terms for hosted PBX are virtual PBX, cloud PBX, and cloud phone system. A hosted PBX service is a service managed by a third-party provider and connects to a public switched telephone network (PSTN).

Benefits of Hosted PBX

Therefore, subscribing to a hosted PBX service means that your company does not have to buy or maintain any equipment or software to utilize the service. And so, you do not have to worry about high setup or maintenance fees. Additionally, you do not need to hire experienced IT professionals to manage the system.

A hosted PBX service will give you the opportunity to utilize Voice over IP services such as:

  • Call management tools to manage and route calls
  • Call transfer
  • Voicemail
  • Call recording
  • Interactive voice response (IVR system)

What is SIP Trunking?

SIP trunking also uses VoIP technology. SIP connects your existing PBX to the internet and enables the sharing of multimedia files such as voice, video, and text. Therefore, to use SIP trunking technology, you need to have an on-premise PBX system and a skilled and experienced in-house IT team to manage it.

SIP trunking

Benefits of Using SIP Trunks

SIP technology is growing more and more popular with businesses because of the many advantages of using such a system. Here are a few benefits of SIP trunking:

SIP trunks replace traditional phone lines by helping you make and answer calls over virtual lines instead. This enables long-distance and international calling at cheaper rates. Therefore, SIP technology is often preferred for its affordability.

Furthermore, you do not need to subscribe to 4-5 different services to handle your office’s communications. SIP trunks allow for transmission for various types of data all in one place, making business communications easy to manage. This is also helpful in increasing overall office productivity and efficiency as employees spend less time learning new services and more time providing better customer support.

Key Differences Between Hosted PBX and SIP Trunking

Now that we have a better understanding of what each service means, let’s look at the key differences between having a hosted PBX system and SIP trunking as part of your office phone system:

Hosted PBX SIP Trunking
1) Setup Costs Low Low, if you own PBX equipment on-premise
2) Ongoing Costs $15-$50 per phone line per month $20-$50 per user per month
3) Maintenance and Expertise Handled by your provider Handled by your in-house IT staff
4) Expertise Required No, handled by the provider In-house IT staff must be experienced
5) Call quality and volume Great for low call volume Great for a large workforce and a high call volume
6) Flexibility Geographically flexible and self-reliant Depends on PBX program licensing and support
7) Company size and type Recommended for companies with <20 employees Recommended for companies with >20 employees
8) Security Depends on the provider’s standards More secure infrastructure

Choosing a Phone System

Deciding on a type of phone system for your business can be overwhelming. To simplify the process, pay attention to what your business needs and what your budget allows. For example, can you afford a skilled in-house IT team or do you want your provider to handle maintenance? Do you need a system that supports a low or high call volume and traffic? And so on. Determining your business’ needs will help you make a better choice. To get SIP trunks and PBX, call United World Telecom and speak with an expert.

5 SIP Trunking Benefits You Probably Don’t Know

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SIP trunking has slowly revolutionized business communication. This business phone solution uses an internet connection to provide a high-quality and low-cost phone service. More and more companies are using SIP trunks to improve the way they communicate internally and externally. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider this service for your business.

What Are the Top Benefits of SIP Trunking?

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is an internet protocol that enables communications between two parties through voice, video, and chat. SIP trunking, therefore, transmits voice, video, and other unified communications through the internet.

This enables businesses to have multi-channel communication options through voice over IP technology. Doing so improves and enhances internal (within the office) and external (between the business and its customers) communication. This is why everyone from small businesses to large corporations is using SIP trunks in their business communication systems. So, what are some benefits of SIP trunking technology?

1. Cost-Effective Services

The main reason why this technology is gaining popularity is because of its affordability while still remaining reliable. SIP calls are routed over the internet instead of traditional expensive phone lines. Furthermore, they give your business the opportunity to make local, long-distance, and international calls at cheaper rates. By routing your calls through international call forwarding services, you can reduce long-distance and international calling costs.

When you sign up for such a service, you are immediately made aware of what the charges for your entire phone system will be. SIP trunk pricing depends on the provider you choose and the various virtual communication tools they offer such as call recording, video conferencing, etc. The cost is predictable and flexible based on your needs and usage. Additionally, most providers do not offer long-term contracts and so if you need to adjust or change your service, you do not have to worry about high cancellation rates either.

2. Unified and Easy-to-Manage Communication System

With this technology, you do not need to have 3-4 different services to manage your company’s communications. SIP trunking allows for different types of data transmission; all in one place. You can access and share voice, video, text, instant messaging, and other files via SIP channels. Having all of your communications in one place can help increase office efficiency, as less time will be spent on finding, learning, and using new software or services.

3. More Office and Employee Productivity

Companies want to improve their communication system to provide better caller experience and service to their customers. In other words, a seamless connection between the business and its valued clients is essential.

Part of such development is providing employees with the right tools to help them be productive and reduce errors. With SIP trunk technology, employees spend less time figuring out how to connect with customers. Managers can access log and activity reports, review recordings of calls, and more to study employee performance. This gives employees additional incentives to do a good job as well.

4. Mobility and Flexibility

Another benefit of SIP trunking is the mobility and flexibility it offers your team. With this technology, you can answer calls not only on traditional phone systems but also on computers, smartphones, tablets, and more. Therefore, you can convert almost any device into a business powerhouse.

Plus, you are not limited in terms of where you can make and answer calls. SIP and VoIP technology enable users to make and receive calls anywhere in the world. This is most useful to businesses with remote offices and employees or those that have employees who travel for work. SIP trunking makes it cheaper to stay connected across borders.

5. Improved and Reliable Phone Service

Most importantly, SIP technology is a reliable phone service with low costs and high quality. Even during a power outage, calls can be directed to employees’ mobile devices or other offices to keep the business running. Failover options make this service one of the most reliable when it comes to secure communications.

Considering SIP Trunking Technology for Your Business?

There is no time like the present to start boosting and enhancing your business’ communication system. SIP trunking can help you create a smooth and interruption-free mode of contact between you and your customers. This, in turn, will help you serve them better and increase customer happiness. Ready to get SIP trunks for your business? Start by signing up for a virtual number with us or call us at 1 (877) 898 8646 to learn more.