SIP Trunking - Top wireline technologies in 2013

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What is it? Leveraging the well-established SIP standard, SIP trunking is a VoIP service where IP telephony providers, including ILECs, CLECs or cloud-based providers, deliver telephone services and unified communications (UC) to business customers that have deployed a SIP-based IP PBX phone system on their premise.

While there are multiple implementations of UC, typical applications include a mix of voice, video, and other streaming media applications such as desktop sharing, and web conferencing.

Before SIP trunking, businesses used physical TDM-based trunks from the phone company to connect their PBX and telephones to the traditional PSTN.

With a SIP trunk, a business can replace those trunks with an IP-based connection that on the Internet. Businesses can enjoy cost savings by using SIP trunking as the service eliminates the need to deploy local PSTN gateways in addition to expensive ISDN BRIs (Basic Rate Interfaces) or PRIs (Primary Rate Interfaces).

Why is it important? The advent of SIP trunking has come at a time when businesses are looking to not only cut costs on their communications spend but are trying to manage a host of UC applications and the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend.

SIP trunking poses new opportunities and challenges for service providers and their business customers. CLECs and cable companies can immediately use SIP trunking to attract new customers looking for an alternative provider, but telcos will face the challenge of cannibalizing existing TDM trunking revenue. Businesses will also continue to grapple with what the benefits of SIP trunking are while overcoming how the new SIP trunks can interoperate with their on-premise legacy PBX and phone systems.

From an application perspective, service providers can deliver a host of new revenue-generating services, including disaster recovery and unified communications (UC).

While SIP trunking adoption varies by geographic region, with the United States seeing the majority of deployments, recent reports by both Webtorials and Infonetics are seeing growing acceptance of the service.

A Webtorial report said that 300 enterprises surveyed reported average cost savings of 33 percent. Likewise, Infonetics reported that 43 percent of survey respondents said they are using SIP trunks, adding that they are not completely displacing their PSTN connections.The research firm added that growing adoption of SIP trunking services will drive enterprise SBC market growth five-fold from 2010 to 2015.