4 Things to Keep in Mind When Switching to SIP

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Director of Inside Sales

SIP trunking is gaining ground quickly as more and more businesses realize they can save up to 70% off of their monthly communications costs. Though SIP is a simple calling protocol (explained in this blog post), there are some things to keep in mind when making the switch. Four, to be precise:

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 that this is an easy problem to solve with Secure Real-Time Transport protocol (SRTP) and a Session Border Controller (SBC), which is basically an application-layer firewall designed for SIP.

For this purpose, Sangoma offers a robust line of SBCs to protect your voice and data network. The intuitive, browser-based GUI makes setup a breeze, and they are available in both appliance and virtual machine options.  

Check out this blog post to learn more about SBCs and why your company needs them.

Make SIP Priority

Between the media streaming and file sharing, chances are you have a lot of traffic on your network. If you implement SIP trunking on top of that without preparation, you may have delays in video buffering, slow email send speeds, or decreased audio quality on your VoIP calls.

To avoid this, make sure you utilize 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 first before less important network traffic.

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 calls your business makes, as well as how many concurrent calls are made at your busiest times.

The second thing to understand about your network is that SIP depends on bandwidth, and a lack of it can cause poor audio, dropped calls, and busy signals. Luckily, bandwidth is cheap and usually readily available!

Make sure you have enough to support the maximum number of concurrent calls your business requires. (To calculate the necessary bandwidth, simply multiply the maximum number of concurrent calls by  Number of max concurrent calls x 100kb/sec = average bandwidth per call needed.) Simply add the bandwidth required to the amount you already use for business duties, and you should be good to go.

If You Fax Over SIP, Be Smart.

Faxing over IP can be very messy, particularly when it comes to the T.38 fax limitation. In very simple terms, a fax message cannot be compressed in the same manner as a voice packet. Packet loss with a phone call can result in poor audio quality, but you can often still understand what the person is saying. With faxing over IP, any packet loss can potentially cause the fax to fail completely.

That being said, if faxing is important to your business, then you should consider a reliable FoIP (fax over IP) solution such as FaxStation. With Sangoma’s FaxStation you can enjoy an analog fax experience without the added cost of an additional PSTN line.

FaxStation is completely cloud-based and can be managed on the web while still allowing you to use existing fax machines. The appliance comes pre-provisioned and pre-programmed to ensure a plug-and-play experience from the start.

When making the move to SIP, these four are among the most important considerations. A good vendor will be able to ensure your business is covered and explain these concepts in more detail. The SIP trunking service offered through SIPStation fully integrates with popular PBX platforms like Switchvox, PBXact, FreePBX, and many more.

If you have any further questions about SIP trunking, please contact the sales team. They will be happy to discuss how you can save money and improve your communications with SIP trunking.

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