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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!