SIP vs. VoIP: Why is SIP Trunking an Upgrade to VoIP?

SIP and VoIP Are Not the Same

If you’re involved in designing communication strategies for businesses, you’ve likely heard of the advantages of SIP over VoIP. While they both can optimize communication and save your clients money, these terms aren’t necessarily interchangeable.

If there’s any confusion over these technical telecom terms, don’t fret! There are dozens of other acronyms such as VoIP, SIP, ISDN, PSTN and PRI that can get complicated fast. But they all play essential roles in modern digital communications.

VoIP’s meaning can often be confused with SIP’s. Though both achieve the same goal of connecting calls over the Internet, they are not identical. Comparing SIP with VoIP will allow you to explain it to your customers better or understand it to cover your own company’s needs.

To help you understand SIP versus VoIP, let’s paint a clearer picture of how they work in the broader communications scheme. This way, you will see if SIP can be a smaller (but critical) component of VoIP or just an alternative.

SIP vs. VOIP: What’s the Difference?

  • SIP means Session Initiation Protocol
  • VoIP means Voice Over Internet Protocol

SIP (specifically SIP trunking) and VoIP are key components in modern communications within businesses and between companies. They contribute to Internet Protocol (IP) telephony, or how people communicate over the internet.

With the help of both SIP and VoIP, telephony offers new capabilities that make communicating easy, productive and money-saving. Let’s look first at what telephony is and how it plays a role in modern communications in the workplace to understand how.

Related: What is a SIP Line and Why You Should Be Selling Them?

Modern Communications and Telephony

In simple terms, telephony is the electronic transmission of information, such as voice and fax, over long distances when the device has a speaker, a transmitter and a receiver.

When computers came along and started replacing or assisting the telephony industry, these definitions evolved a bit. Telephony and telecommunications became interchangeable in many cases.

The division between the two became even more blurred when telephones began using radio to transmit signals.

IP telephony then was born. It uses the internet rather than traditional telephone services to exchange information, even if it’s only spoken communication or voice. Unlike traditional telephony, IP telephony has fewer restrictions on the type of information exchanged.

With this technology, old-fashioned phone calls can turn into video calls with a switch midway. If a partner on the other end of the line miles away needs a digital file, your clients 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 is the lack of long-distance charges. Your clients can make online calls overseas without incurring any fees for phone providers to connect internationally. And that’s the beginning of how VoIP and SIP save businesses money.

What Is Voice Over Internet Protocol?

As mentioned above, VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and it’s a broad term covering any calls made over the internet.

VoIP plays a role with a specific application or provider, such as Google Hangouts or Facetime. Other modern protocol technologies and open standards such as SIP enhance the overall experience for businesses (which we’ll cover next).

VoIP’s capabilities, such as conference calling and the ability to manage a higher volume of callers, can save thousands annually on business communications.

In this sense, VoIP isn’t an entirely different technology compared to SIP either. They each govern a way to transfer a variety of messages from one place to another. VoIP controls voice exchange, while SIP can control multimedia messages.

Related: How to Become a SIP Trunk Provider

What is Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunking?

SIP helps your clients make calls, just like VoIP. It’s usually the protocol to manage multiple communication sessions, such as call conferences. These days, successful communication can be a question of SIP vs. VoIP depending on the situation.

SIP can do more than transferring information between two points by voice or video. It can also enable instant messaging, file sharing and connecting with other applications. It doesn’t necessarily replace VoIP, but it could with 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 uses data networks for voice or video communications. And VoIP may actually use SIP trunking to establish its calls through its applications.

How does it work? In short, when you deploy SIP for your clients, it enables SIP trunking, allowing users to connect virtually to a regular phone network or a PSTN. As a result, it achieves the same task as a traditional phone line but with the advantage of its compatibility with virtually any phone line.

Using SIP trunking, companies can have unified communications and telephone services through SIP-compatible PBXs and IP networks. PBXs deliver services such as call management, voicemail, automated attendants, etc. 

Meanwhile, SIP trunks replace legacy phone lines and Primary Rate Interfaces (PRIs) by connecting the PBX to the public telephone network. When you work with the right provider, you can select the IP-PBX hardware and software best for your customers (they can help you decide) while avoiding the expense and inflexibility of traditional phone lines and carrier relationships.

Does this sound like a good solution for you? Read on to learn why it should.

How SIP Trunking is Great for Businesses

Keeping up with newer technologies may cost any company upfront, but it can save them loads in the long run. Instead of older PBX hardware, SIP trunking accomplishes communication digitally.

SIP means fewer headaches for businesses and potentially money back in your pocket for reselling these services. Depending on the provider you choose to partner with, pricing can be affordable and straightforward for most small businesses. Be sure to do your research and find the right partner.

A top SIP provider charges monthly fees, which are typically calculated per person, making it easier for your customers to pay only for what they need, budget and manage associated costs. 

When something goes technically wrong, you won’t have to fix it yourself or hire an outsourced technician. Your SIP partner will be there to help. Instead of downloading tedious and complicated software, a good provider will additionally offer mobile management. 

Scalability is another significant factor when deciding communication providers, and SIP trunking delivers scalable solutions. Typical PBX hardware systems require your clients to make an upfront investment with an idea of growth in the future. New scalable systems, however, let them pay for their capacity as you need it over time. 

With SIP trunking, your customers can forget about replacing hardware for fluctuating growth or downsizing.

SIP vs. VoIP: SIP Is the Winner

As you can see, SIP gives businesses many more capabilities than standard 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 and VoIP, it’s not always a simple comparison. SIP is helpful to perform VoIP, so it’s basically another cog in the communication machine.

It’s when you recommend your clients to move from standard VoIP into more specialized services, such as SIP trunking, that they begin to see the benefits. SIP is an easy way for businesses to save money and communicate effectively, no matter how and where people work.

If you are an independent business consultant interested in improving your customers’ communications and reducing costs, you can take advantage of SIPTRUNK’s’ straightforward SIP trunking solutions. With SIPTRUNK, your clients can transition into SIP easily and implement the right trunking strategy to suit each unique need. Get started now.