3 ways to reduce costs with SIP trunking

by The AT&T Business Editorial Team

With up to 70 percent cost savings at stake, small and medium businesses are taking a serious look at Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), an application-layer control protocol used for IP-based audio/videoconferencing, interactive gaming, and call forwarding. By next year, Gartner predicts that 50 percent of U.S. business exchange lines will be SIP-based. That’s a significant slice of the pie for a technology that was shrouded in uncertainty not that long ago.

The upward trend isn’t all that surprising, considering all the cost and feature benefits it can provide over Primary Rate Interfaces (PRIs), Basic Rate Interfaces (BRIs) and analog lines. Case in point: a Heavy Reading report estimates that an SMB that adopts SIP trunking can save between 50-70 percent per trunk over TDM-based circuits. If you’ve been considering the switch, here are three money-saving reasons to go for it.

Network consolidation

By creating a converged network, you’re bringing two disparate services—voice and data, for example—under one umbrella. The infrastructure necessary to deliver those two services becomes redundant, as do the two separate sets of fees associated. Now, all your traffic is communicated through a single pipe. This streamlines your network, leading to fewer pieces of hardware and far less time and money dedicated to network maintenance and other services.

Fewer telecom charges

Long distance fees can add up quickly for companies with multiple locations. There are individual billing, infrastructure, and operational costs to oversee for each office. If those offices happen to be in different states or countries, the costs can really compound. With SIP, calls are made over an IP connection and are therefore significantly cheaper.

Consider one real-world scenario: A company’s branch office and warehouse are separated by hundreds of miles, yet exchange several hours of calls per day. With SIP trunking, employees can make “local” calls between locations as easily as if they were in the same building. This spares the company costly long distance charges and enables other features such as speed dial and seamless call transfers.

More control and customization

Most businesses spend a lot on traditional telephone service every month, despite the fact that it often sits idle, waiting for the “busy period.” If you have multiple sites, you’re paying for dedicated connections to each of those locations and for a minimum number of channels. SIP trunking typically allows more control over how you allocate your bandwidth. You can buy a fixed amount of capacity and have it pulled from a central hub when your various sites need it.

Through more effective management of your bandwidth, you may find that you don’t even need to increase it to accommodate your new bundled traffic. Another benefit for SMBs is that greater capacity can be added easily—typically without a service call to your location.

Hardware: What to consider

While the market is ripe with SIP trunking solutions, AT&T Synapse® is IP compatible and aimed squarely at the needs of SMBs. It’s ideal for small to medium-sized businesses that have a need for an elegant, low-cost, low-maintenance IP telephony hardware solution that can supply the the phone equipment you need to be up and running fast. When used with the Synapse SB67070 SIP gateway, it offers several advantages, including:

  • Support for 16 SIP trunks. That’s nearly three times more than other manufacturers’ gateways that start with only 6 and require you to expand with add-on equipment.
  • Support for up to 10 SIP services. You can network up to 10 remote locations using SIP gateways.
  • 4 auto attendant schedulers. Other products require another accessory.
  • Phone lines at different sites can be shared, whether they’re SIP, T1 or PSTN.

Whether you’ve outgrown your traditional analog or digital phone system or are starting from scratch, SIP telephony is a great way to contain costs, improve collaboration and leverage your existing technology.

Have you deployed SIP telephony to get better control of your bandwidth? What advice can you give to other SMBs considering a move to SIP?

Learn more about SIP Trunking here.