Sometimes, the trouble with technical jargon is that it does nothing to explain what it describes. In telecoms, SIP trunking is a classic example. The words tell you nothing about what it does. And if we say SIP stands for “session initiation protocol”, that probably won’t help clarify matters!

Why is all this a problem? Because SIP trunking is extremely useful to businesses of all sectors and sizes. It reduces call costs, futureproofs a crucial part of your business, and so much more besides. Today, we’re explaining how and why.

jargon busting is important to us here at GoldStar. Technology is supposed to simplify life. Sometimes it takes plain speaking to show how. Now it’s time to give SIP trunking that treatment!

What does SIP trunking mean?

SIP trunking simply means routing calls through the internet instead of a telephone exchange. Of course there’s more to it than that, but that’s the concept in a nutshell. Let’s break the term down.

“SIP”, or session initiation protocol, refers to the method of making, taking, managing and ending calls. As for “trunking”, this is an older telecoms term. It just means setting up a collection of lines shared between users in the same organisation (think tree trunks and branches – that’s what it’s named after).

The important detail is this: the SIP trunk sits between your phone system and your internet connection, routing calls.

What does SIP replace?

SIP replaces PSTN (public switched telephone network) and ISDN (integrated services digital network) lines. PSTN lines are the original copper wire phone lines, while ISDN is the digital upgrade, brought to Ireland in 1994 by Telecom Éireann.

ISDN and PSTN will route calls to your local telephone exchange. By routing calls over the internet, SIP offers a huge upgrade in terms of costs and flexibility. Now we’ll explain how.

Three benefits of SIP over PSTN and ISDN

  1. Cost savings

Cost savings are always welcome – and even more so now, with energy prices soaring. SIP can offer huge savings by reducing line rental and call charges. Of course, the extent of the savings will vary for different businesses.

But we’ve seen customers reduce line rental by 75%, and call charges by 20–30%. At GoldStar we can offer a bill assessment to give you a more definite overview of the sorts of savings you can make. A lot of businesses are seeing operating costs skyrocket at the moment.

  1. Scalability

PSTN and ISDN lines have limited numbers of channels. In other words, you can only have a set number of simultaneous calls per line. This means that you might need new lines installed for something as simple as simple as adding a few users. ISDN has made some improvements on this over the years, but SIP blows it out of the water.

In theory, SIP lines have unlimited numbers of channels. You do need the bandwidth to send and receive all that data, but at GoldStar we’ve got the expertise to make sure that’s not a problem. This makes adding new users easier, quicker and much more convenient, so you can scale up without fuss, complications or excessive costs.

  1. Futureproofing

PSTN and ISDN are not quite obsolete yet, but they’re heading that way. Estonia and the Netherlands have decommissioned these lines altogether, routing all calls via the internet. In other countries, including Germany and the UK, the same project is under way.

These changes are coming to Ireland too. While there isn’t a set deadline, the rollout of fibre broadband could see ISDN and PSTN lines switched off within a decade or less. They’ve served us well, but they’re technologies for the 20th century. Fully internet-based phone networks are the future, and SIP gets you ahead of that change.

Is a SIP trunk easy to set up?

At GoldStar, we’ll make it easy for you. All you need is an internet connection. Because there’s less physical infrastructure, setting up SIP trunks is much faster than installing a whole set of ISDN lines.

We’ll install and set up everything with a minimum of disruption or fuss. It’s just as easy if you’re moving premises too.

Can I keep my business numbers if I switch to SIP?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, this is much simpler with SIP trunks. We can port your numbers easily, and create new ones within seconds.

Partnering with GoldStar

We hope this is a useful overview of SIP trunking. Our intention is always to make telecoms accessible rather than overly technical, so that businesses can realise the benefits. For over thirty years, we’ve been doing exactly that.

At GoldStar, we’ve got the experience and skill to make business communication more productive, straightforward and cost-effective. Whether we’re providing SIP trunks or industry-leading Ericsson-LG Enterprise phone systems, our customers’ interests always come first. To get more out of your business communication, get in touch today.