SIP Trunking is gaining ground quickly in the business world, as more and more are realising they can save up to 70% off of their monthly communications costs. SIP is a simple calling protocol (which is explained in full detail in this blog post); however, there are some things to keep in mind when making the switch. Five, to be precise:
1. SIP Needs Security
Since SIP is in plain text, it doesn’t take an IT genius to decipher a SIP session (call). Without the proper security measures, anyone can run a packet capture tool (such as Wireshark) and extract audio from calls. The good news is this is an easy problem to solve with Secure Real-Time Transport protocol (SRTP) and a Session Border Controller (SBC), which is basically a firewall for SIP. Check out this No Jitter article on the fine art of choosing the right SBC, and this Digium blog post on tips for effective UC security.
2. Make SIP Priority
Between the Netflix streaming and file sharing, chances are you have a lot of traffic on your network. When you decide to implement SIP trunking on top of that, you may have delays in video buffering, slow email send speeds, and decreased audio quality on your VoIP calls. To avoid this, make sure you utilise the standard QoS feature found in most business-grade routers and switches. The QoS feature will ensure your voice calls receive priority on the network, ensuring the available bandwidth is delivered straight to them before the YouTube video download.
3. Prior to SIP, Know Your Network
When switching to SIP, it’s important to have an accurate idea of how many concurrent calls your business makes. Review your call logs and understand the total number of minutes your businesses uses and how many concurrent calls you make at your busiest times.
The second thing to understand on your network is that SIP survives on bandwidth, and a lack of it can cause poor audio, dropped calls, and busy signals. Good thing bandwidth is cheap and readily available! Make sure you have enough to support the maximum number of concurrent calls your business requires (Number of max concurrent calls x 100kb/sec = average bandwidth per call needed). Add the bandwidth required to the amount you already use for business duties, and you should be good to go.
4. Don’t fax via SIP
For more reasons than this blog post will get into, faxing over IP can be very messy. In very simple terms, a fax message cannot be compressed in the same manor as a voice packet, so unlike a phone call with poor audio (where you can still understand what the person is saying), if there is any packet loss, the fax is likely to fail completely. Faxing also requires more bandwidth than a phone call. That being said, if faxing is important to your business and it needs to be over IP, then you should have a specialist help you set it up to ensure it’s done properly. If fax is vital to your business, then you should place your critical fax applications on a dedicated analog line to guarantee quality.
These are the four most important considerations when switching to SIP, and they should all be covered and explained to you in full detail when you contact a vendor. If you have any further questions about SIP trunking, please contact the Digium Sales team or type in “SIP” in the blog search bar for more posts to read on this subject.