Session Initiation Protocol or SIP Trunking is a digital alternative to traditional wire and cable methods of managing multiple phone lines. It’s a web-based technology that’s interdependent with your existing IT and network infrastructure – so a degree of care and configuration must be taken in setting it up and operating it. Here are some recommendations to help.
Work Out How Many Channels You’ll Need
SIP trunks are usually sold in channels – with a channel considered as one incoming or outgoing telephone call. Typical enterprises require one channel for every three to four people – but do the math for your own business based on your standard working conditions and anticipated volume of calls.
Ensure You Have Sufficient Bandwidth
A SIP trunk shares the same connectivity environment as your IT infrastructure, so you’ll need to factor in the bandwidth requirements for trunking as part of your overall internet demand. Generally speaking, the faster your connection (broadband is ideal), the better the call handling.
Configure Your Business Router For QoS
If your business router has a Quality of Service or QoS setting (and it really should, for SIP Trunking), be sure to enable this, as it gives priority to voice traffic over other forms of data, and guards against delays that negatively affect audio quality.
Go For Unlimited International Calls
Your VoIP service should provide unlimited local calls (which may include Canada, if you’re in the continental United States). But your SIP plan should also include an uncapped number of overseas calls, charged at a fixed rate.
Use Complex Passwords For Authentication
As SIP trunks cross the public internet via IP addresses belonging to the telecommunications system, they’re vulnerable to hackers. So each session should be protected by a complex password which authenticates users to the SIP provider.
Limit Access To Your System
Draw up an approved list of personnel who are authorized to use your telephony system. The system itself should be isolated in a dedicated VLAN or Virtual Local Area Network.
Take Security Precautions
Measures to consider include an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) to monitor communications with your SIP provider, and a pass-code lock for international calls, to deter fraud.
Get Locked Into A Fixed Contract
Your SIP provider should allow you to scale your service up or down (more channels or less), at any time.
Get Caught By Hidden Costs
Initial setting up, monthly subscription fees, international call tariffs, any other fees or taxes – all of these should be spelled out in your contract.
Accept Less Than A Tier-1 Network
At least a tier-1 network is required to provide the back end networking muscle for connecting calls to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). This is the minimum standard for business-quality voice transmission.