In traditional telecommunications terminology, you can think of a trunk line as an interstate highway for the telephone service.
On the road network, drivers navigate the smaller local roads from their homes to the highway; once on the highway, they can travel at high speeds without having to stop at every place along the way until they reach their destination. As they get closer to their destinations, they’ll have to leave the highway at the closest turnoff and return to the local roads to get where they need to go.
On telephone networks, trunk lines work the same way as highways in the road network. Smaller telephone wires lead into a heavy-duty cable in the same way that local roads connect to multi-lane highways.
In wholesale SIP trunking, that highway is the internet – a much cheaper medium than the telephone network. Wholesale SIP trunking service providers make this long-distance service available to most of the people and businesses in the world, offering a number of benefits to businesses in the process.
Organizing a data connection for voice traffic used to be complicated, between the ISDN lines, basic rate interfaces, primary rate interfaces, and PSTN gateways to organize. Wholesale SIP trunking does away with all of these elements, simplifying the process of connecting and reducing costs in turn. Multi-site businesses can use a single SIP trunk connection to serve all locations without the need for multiple connections.
Thanks to wholesale SIP trunking, it’s no longer necessary to have separate connections for voice and data traffic. It has also become much easier to scale up these systems as businesses expand, minimizing the need to install additional lines or equipment.
For individual businesses, adopting SIP effectively outsources the link to the PSTN through to the internet service provider, rather than having it directly linked to their PABX. With this strategy, calls are carried via the internet to a point close to their destination before transferring to the local telephone network.
In this way, SIP trunking removes the need for a PABX in-house, further reducing costs and improving flexibility (though there will, of course, be some initial costs, including switching to an IP-PBX either in-house or in the cloud and supplying desktop access in the form of IP phones or soft phones).
Businesses are increasingly shifting to more flexible working models, allowing staff to work from home or to “hot desk.” In part, this is due to the fact that modern business requires a flexible approach which recognizes that people could be out of the office for longer periods than in the past.
Until recently, these remote workers would have accessed office networks via a VPN. While this is good for data connections, it has some drawbacks when it comes to using VoIP telecoms. Wholesale SIP trunking allows the use of remote connectivity apps, enabling remote users to access enterprise PABX functions easily, whether they are at home, in a hotel, at a client site, or in a branch office. All they need to have access to the internet.
The relatively uniform cost of internet access costs around the world means that VoIP provision of business telephone systems doesn’t just match traditional systems. In many ways, it provides even greater opportunities. Thanks to SIP trunking, it is now just as easy to bring on a freelancer on the other side of the world as it is to use a locally-based telecommuter.
The ability to source talent from anywhere in the world enables businesses to take advantage of better foreign language skills, as well as potentially lower costs than can be found locally. The deployment of workers in different time zones also means that businesses can keep customer support features open for longer hours – even around the clock – without having to pay night shift rates to local technicians.
Wholesale VoIP Termination Rates
IP telephony has the potential to cut costs, but it’s important to recognize that not all VoIP providers offer a good service. As you’re evaluating different providers, you’ll need to ensure that the quality of service (QoS) on offer is acceptable.
QoS techniques typically grant prioritized line access to voice traffic, relative to data. This is because voice calls are an interactive service, and any transmission delays impact the quality of the call. Conversely, no one ever complains – or even realizes – if the delivery of an email is delayed by a few seconds.
Be aware that your call delivery system is only ever going to be as good as its weakest point. That’s why it’s important that you ensure your office network is strong enough to carry the volume of calls that you expect to manage. A capacity shortfall on your own network will reduce the quality of calls and could even cause dropped calls.
Traffic prioritization is implemented through Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) networks, which allow for flexibility in the way traffic is routed and optimize bandwidth utilization accordingly. Traffic shaping measures are then implemented on the network; though, contrary to the popular view, it is not the internet that presents a bottleneck to VoIP traffic, but the company’s own network or its internet gateway.
A decision to change telephone providers is a good opportunity to review your entire system to ensure that it’s fit for purpose and meeting your needs.
Any service that relies on the use of the internet is bound to raise security concerns. And although it is necessary to have a SIP-capable firewall for your network, voice traffic access to the data network shouldn’t require a removal of all network security measures.
A SIP proxy can be useful for filtering and verifying traffic, as well as routing it correctly. It can also control which ports on a company’s router or gateway traffic is allowed to use. Systems such as SIP proxies are known as “edge services.” As all incoming and outgoing network traffic is diverted through the proxy, the network can be protected by a device that’s managed by specialist technicians elsewhere.
VoIP calls are digitized, so they can easily be encrypted for extra security. It’s also advisable to have effective authentication of the connection to the service provider.
Some PBXs can provide these security measures; otherwise, they should be implemented by a firewall or an edge service. Outdated enterprise firewalls might not be able to handle SIP traffic. An upgrade or move to an edge service might be required, which must be factored into costs.
A final security concern is the resilience of the network. Relying on an internet connection for your calls means that a network outage knocks out all the phones, as well as the data services of the company. A SIP-capable PBX or firewall should be able to provide redundancy by switching traffic to an alternative carrier in the event of problems.
Wholesale SIP Trunking Benefits
Ultimately, SIP trunking is simply a different method for getting telephone calls in and out of a business. It supports more flexible working practices, improves service availability, and has the potential to drastically reduce costs. However, there are a number of issues that need to be addressed when switching to this technology, including the capacity of the company network capacity and the quality and security of the wholesale SIP trunking service.
A reputable SIP trunking service will be able to advise clients on the changeover process, as well as demonstrate a track record of excellence in the field. Look for an established provider with a history of providing high quality voice services in order to make the most of the opportunities that wholesale SIP trunking presents.
Don’t make a snap decision when it comes to your choice of a SIP trunking wholesaler. Make sure you have all of the options laid out in a fair comparison before you choose a system. If you need further assistance with choosing the right wholesale VOIP provider at best wholesale termination rates for your company, let the experts at IDT Express help. Reach out today for more information.