If you’re involved in the communication strategies of a business, you’ve likely heard of the advantages of SIP vs VoIP. While they can optimize communication and save money, the terms aren’t necessarily interchangeable.
If there’s any confusion over these technical communication terms, don’t fret! Communication initialisms like VoIP, SIP, ISDN, PSTN, and PRI can get complicated fast. But they all play important roles in modern digital communications.
To help you understand better SIP vs VoIP, we need to paint a better picture of how they work in the broader scheme of communications. That way you’ll see that SIP can be a smaller (but extremely important) component of VoIP or an alternative.
SIP vs VOIP: What’s the Difference?
SIP: Session Initiation Protocol
VoIP: Voice Over Internet Protocol
SIP (specifically SIP trunking) and VoIP are important components in modern communication within businesses and between companies. They contribute to internet protocol (IP) telephony, or how we communicate over the internet.
With the help of SIP and VoIP, telephony offers new capabilities that make communicating easy, productive, and money-saving. Let’s look first at telephony and modern communications in the workplace to understand how.
Modern Communications and Telephony
We call the electronic transmission of information like voice and fax over long distances telephony if the device has a speaker, transmitter, and receiver.
When computers came along and started replacing or assisting the telephony industry, definitions evolved a bit. Telephony and telecommunications became interchangeable in a lot of cases.
The division between the two became even more blurred when telephones began using radio to transmit signals.
And that’s all before we get into IP telephony.
IP telephony uses the internet rather than traditional telephone services to exchange information, even if it’s only spoken information.
Unlike traditional telephony, internet telephony has fewer restrictions on the type of information exchanged.
Phone calls can be made that turn into video calls with a switch midway. If a partner on the other end of the line miles away needs a digital file, you can provide it to them with a few clicks.
One of the biggest money-savers when using the internet instead of traditional PSTN phone lines for a voice call is the lack of long-distance charges.
Online, oversea calls can be made without incurring any fees for phone providers to connect internationally. And that’s the beginning of how VoIP and SIP save businesses money.
Voice Over Internet Protocol
As we mentioned, VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and it’s a broad term covering any calls made over the internet.
VoIP is usually used with a certain application or providers like Google Hangouts or Skype. Other modern protocol technologies and open standards like SIP enhance the overall experience for businesses (which we’ll cover next).
VoIP with greater capabilities (like conference calling and the ability for a higher volume of callers) can save thousands annually on business communications.
In a lot of casess, VoIP isn’t really an entirely separate technology compared to SIP. They each govern a way to transfer different messages from one place to another. VoIP controls voice exchange while SIP can control multimedia messages.
What is Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunking?
Session initiation protocol can be used to make international calls just like VoIP. It’s usually used for managing multiple communication sessions, like conferences.
In a lot of cases these days, successful communication can be a question of SIP vs VoIP depending on the situation.
SIP can do more than transfer information between two points by voice or video: instant messaging, file sharing, and connecting with other applications are also possible. It doesn’t replace VoIP necessarily, but it could under the right provider.
SIP trunking is a term you might hear in a sales pitch from a newer phone company. It’s a technology that is used for utilizing data networks for voice or video communications.
VoIP may actually use SIP trunking to establish their calls through their applications.
The SIP enables SIP trunking, allowing users to connect virtually to a regular phone network or a PSTN. It accomplishes the same goal as a traditional phone line, with the advantage that this method can connect to virtually any phone line.
How SIP Trunking is Great for Business
Keeping up with newer technologies may cost you up front, but they can save you lots in the long run. Instead of older PBX (private branch exchange) hardware, SIP trunking accomplishes communication digitally.
This means fewer headaches for businesses and potentially a little extra money back in their pockets. Depending on the provider, pricing can be simple and affordable for most small businesses.
Monthly fees are typically calculated per person, making it easier to budget and to manage the associated costs. And when something breaks, you don’t have to fix it yourself or hire out a technician. Maintenance is taken care of.
Instead of needed to download tedious and complicated softwares, a lot of the current providers offer mobile administration. Instead of working through problems you don’t understand, help comes to you remotely.
Scalability is another big factor when deciding communication providers, and SIP trunking delivers scalable solutions.
Typical PBX hardware systems require you to purchase a set with an idea of growth in the future. New scalable systems, however, let you pay for your capacity as you need it over time.
No more replacing hardware for fluctuating growth or downsizing.
SIP vs VoIP: SIP is the Winner
As you can see, SIP gives businesses a lot more capability than regular or basic VoIP technology. No longer restricted to voice or video calls (though it is an option), SIP allows users to exchange files and other forms of data over the internet.
When you look at SIP vs VoIP, it’s not always a simple comparison. SIP is used to achieve VoIP, so it’s basically another cog in the communication machine.
It’s when you move from standard VoIP into more specialized services, such as SIP trunking, that you begin to see the benefits. SIP is an easy way for businesses to save money and communicate effectively in the 21st century.
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