Clear the Confusion Between SIP Trunks and SIP Lines

A real head-scratcher

A real head-scratcher

The acronyms, abbreviations, and jargon in the telecommunications industry can make even the most well-informed IT professional dizzy.

Just Google “SIP” or “SIP trunking” or “SIP trunking for dummies.” The hodgepodge of information on telecommunication blogs, wikis, and forums will leave your customers (and maybe even you) wondering why we can’t go back to the days when Styrofoam cups and string worked as communication devices.

In all seriousness, educating your customers can be tricky business. We’re here today to help you and them understand SIP trunking in a little more detail.

SIP Trunks: What They Are and How They Work

Before VoIP and recent advancements in the telecommunications industry, everything had to be hard-wired. In those days, a trunk was used to refer to a physical line that connected a company’s equipment to enable employees to make calls.

Today, however, much has changed.

VoIP gave way to innovations like SIP trunks and its interconnecting lines. But what is a SIP trunk line, exactly?

A Trunk in the Internet-driven world of communications, in some senses, is a misnomer because it denotes a physical circuit. A SIP trunk, however, is no longer physical but virtual.

It’s flexible, enabling your customers to order the exact number of circuits they need instead of having to order industry standards like a T-1 with 23 channels that often required companies to pay for more capacity than they needed. SIP trunks allow them to pay for exactly what they need.

A SIP trunk doesn’t have to have one designated purpose, either, unlike traditional trunks that could only be used for one type of traffic, inbound calls, outbound calls, or calls between individuals on the same PBX.

SIP Trunks and SIP Lines: What’s the Difference?

Again, industry jargon takes casualties here.

Acronyms seem to leave customers with glazed eyes, a bit of drool on their chin, and the assumption that anything with the acronym SIP in it all means the same thing. And, of course, the Internet does nothing to remedy matters.

But you can. By explaining difficult concepts in layman’s terms.

A SIP trunk, for example, is a container that holds multiple SIP lines. In a sense, it’s just an abstract version of traditional trunks—bundles of wire connecting switches.

A SIP line is the path for concurrent calls, and the number a trunk holds depends on the needs of the customers. Higher call volume demands more SIP lines and the necessary bandwidth to make high numbers of concurrent calls while lower call volume demands fewer SIP lines.

What’s the Clear Conclusion?

Sure, SIP trunking may not be a simple concept to communicate and describe; but it does simplify communications and will make your life and your customers’ lives easier in the long run. Something we can all understand.