A Guide to SIP trunks for businesses

April 3rd, 2020 - Get new posts sent straight to your inbox, click here.

The technology industry loves to create confusing and complex-sounding words. SIP trunking is a good example of that – it’s a way to take something as simple as a phone system and add technology jargon to it. Thankfully, a SIP trunk is one of the more straightforward business technology concepts.

What is a SIP trunk?

SIP trunks allow your PBX system to send and receive calls via the Internet – it’s the technology that lets you convert your standard copper-driven phone line, and transition it to VoIP, delivered via the high-speed nbn™.

Remember – when the nbn™ comes into your area, you’ll be forced to transition away from standard phone lines and systems, so SIP trunks will be an essential technology in ensuring that your business is able to continue to make and receive phone calls.

The benefits of SIP trunks

  • It can save your business money
    It will save you money by removing the traditional line rental fees for your phone system, and in delivering phone calls through VoIP, the cost of the phone calls is lowered substantially. Aussie Broadband is able to offer a premium service that provides businesses with free local and national calls, for example, at the cost of just $60/month. For the typical business that spends a lot of time on the phones, that can result in massive savings.
  • It won’t disrupt your business activity
    In most cases, installing a SIP trunk is not disruptive to your business. You’ll keep the same phone systems and phone numbers, and while some PBXes won’t be compatible, most newer systems are, and many of those phone systems that are not compatible can be converted via an 8-Port ATA Analogue to VoIP Adapter, which Aussie Broadband provides at a small monthly rental fee.
  • It enables mobile working
    Another important benefit of SIP trunks is that it enables mobile work – automatic call forwarding can be set up to send a call to any phone system outside of the office. There are productivity benefits in doing this (ensuring that important customer and client calls are not missed), but equally importantly there are business continuity benefits – if something should happen to the office and system people will still be able to get in touch through the automatic forwarding.

Introducing symmetrical internet

SIP trunks are one of the principle reasons that many organisations adopt symmetrical internet services from their ISPs.

Under a standard internet connection, the speeds are asymmetrical – you’re able to download data faster than you upload it. This is written up as two numbers – for example. 50/20, where “50” represents the download rate (50Mbps), while the “20” represents the upload rate (20Mbps).

This is perfectly adequate for home and residential internet use because, when you think about it, in our home lives, we tend to consume far more data, and have far heavier demands on downloading data than uploading it. When we visit a Webpage, watch a movie over Netflix, or download a video game for our consoles, we’re not uploading any data whatsoever. When we email a funny attachment or share a cute video that we caught of our cat on Facebook, we’re uploading data, but the slower upload rates are fine for that.

However, for businesses it’s different, and it’s with VoIP and a SIP trunk that that difference is most immediately noticeable. When you’re on a phone call with a client, then the data that you’re downloading (i.e. what the other person is saying) is of no greater importance or priority than the data that you’re uploading (i.e. what you’re saying into the phone). In these environments, having a lower upload rate can affect the quality of the overall phone call and connection.

Symmetrical internet speeds benefit the organisation in other ways, too, including:

  • Video conferencing
    Even more than standard VoIP, you need fast and reliable upload speeds to make the exchange of video with customers, clients, or co-workers efficient.
  • Cloud services
    More and more is done in the cloud these days – organisations host their documents in the cloud, so everyone in the organisation can access and edit them from anywhere. You can even do video editing and design marketing collateral through the cloud. Again, upload speeds determine the quality of these experiences. Downloading a video is one thing. Being able to upload and edit it in real time really needs a symmetrical internet plan.
  • Multiple users
    Just as internet download speeds are “split” when multiple users are on the same connection at the same time, so too are upload speeds. With a fast download rate on an asymmetrical internet connection, the splitting of download speeds tends not to be noticeable – even high quality Netflix has an upper limit on the download rate that it needs, and many plans can comfortably split three, four, or more ways and not hit that upper limit. However, try and host four video conferences on the same connection and the slower upload speeds will not be able to handle it. So symmetrical speeds are much more useful for the typical business, where there are a lot of people using the internet to do their jobs at the same time.

Moving over to a SIP trunk and running your business communications through VoIP provides significant competitive advantage with new features and an improved communication environment. To make the most of it, you should consider investing in symmetrical internet speeds for your organisation. Contact our expert business team at Aussie Broadband to find out more about SIP trunks and what it could mean for your business today.