SIP trunks are simply another way of saying VoIP Provider for your phone system. A SIP trunk is a connection from a PBX (phone system) using SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) to an ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider).
It might sound complicated but it’s really quite simple, SIP trunks take the place of your legacy telephone company. Most phone systems out there today are more than a couple of years old and are likely based on circuit switched technology. Newer IP-PBXs use packet switching technology, which means they leverage the Internet to deliver the same features you have now, and then some. The difference could be minor or major depending on what your PBX is capable of and what your ITSP can deliver in terms of features and functionality.
Since the PSTN (public switch telephone network) is tied to aging circuit switched technology it has limitations in terms of what media it can support. Essentially, it can deliver low quality voice, that’s it.
SIP Trunks replace older PRI and POTS interfaces that we are used to and bring to the table a wide variety of communications options. Depending on your IP-PBX and your ITSP you could potentially look forward to HD (High Defenition) Voice and potentially HD Video.
HD voice (and video) for small business in Canada will happen, it’s only a matter of time. As broadband providers increase upstream bandwidth and dual WAN link-failover devices become common place, SIP trunking will accellerate in growth and on-net (calls made on the ITSP network) HD Voice will become common place.
Unfortunately, HD communication off-net (eg. PSTN) is not going anywhere at any great speed. Jeff Pulver is back as he reboots the communications industry with his new HD Communication Summit. I welcome Jeff back with open arms, if anyone can convince operators to increase speed towards wide-band/HD adoption it would Jeff Pulver.
Today we can see SIP trunking providers and hosted pbx providers supporting wideband codecs and devices on their networks. This will allow user to communicate in high definition with other users that have devices that support it, in brief you could have better calls between you and your colleagues in the office and remote office workers connected to the same PBX, and that is a step in the right direction.
Let me first say that Jeff Pulver’s and his FWD network/service (Free World Dialup) was instrumental in contributing to the early growth of Xten (now called Counterpath). FWD provided the platform where the X-Lite SIP softphone flourished. It was a great litmus test for us and created incredible awareness for our product. I don’t think I ever thanked him properly for that.
VON might be history, but Jeff is far from done.
In his last blog post, Jeff talks about exclusive federal jurisdiction for VoIP and how important this is to the communications industry as a whole.
It’s a good read, here is an excerpt…
Yesterday six major high-tech associations collectively representing the growth engines of the economy (generating billions of economic activity every year, employing millions of workers, and representing thousands of companies) filed a friend of the court brief in support of the FCC’s decision to provide a single national policy framework for VoIP.
This is a big deal, and a part of a broader effort to remove barriers that could determine how and when consumers benefit from the lower prices, new services, and advanced communication features that VoIP can deliver.
Check out the entire post: http://pulverblog.pulver.com/archives/008352.html