IP Trunking vs SIP Trunking – What’s the Difference?

Posted on: 2019-03-21 | Categories: SIP Trunking

Decision making is a far more complex process for businesses than it is for individuals. More factors affect the outcome and the scale is much bigger as well. So, implementing a new technology takes more time and the costs are similarly higher.

For instance, an individual consumer may take 5 minutes to select a new phone service. They probably need a number, monthly service and maybe a device or two. A business might need multiple numbers, dozens of lines and plenty of hardware to support more sophisticated features as well.

Adding to the complexity is the fact that any new technology seems to come with its own confusing jargon. For IP calling, you need to understand what the terms VoIP, SIP, ISDN, PBX etc. mean. After all, you cannot implement the technology if you don’t know how it works. Vendors, manufacturers, and even experts use these terms interchangeably further confusing business users.

IP Trunking Versus SIP Trunking

The terms IP trunking and SIP trunking are often used interchangeably, even though they refer to completely different things! In fact, you cannot actually compare the two directly. It’s not a question of which one is better at all. Businesses can use both together or chose to implement IP trunking without involving SIP at all.

IP Trunking

The IP in VoIP stands for Internet Protocol. It describes how voice is converted to data and sent to its destination. Trunking is a telephony concept that involves sharing lines between users to drive efficiency. Putting them together gives the basic concept of IP trunking. The term can be used to describe VoIP implementations in an enterprise context.

IP trunking refers to a business solution and concept. Businesses with a distributed or remote workforce can benefit immensely with VoIP. You can access several features that enhance productivity within the enterprise.

SIP Trunking

SIP trunking looks and sounds very similar to IP trunking, the difference is only a single letter. But SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol and it’s one of many ways to implement VoIP. SIP is responsible for call management i.e. setting up the call, managing the various parties, call termination etc. It is an alternative to traditional PBX systems, not a direct competitor of IP trunking.

SIP trunking is a technical term referring to the connection between the business and the telecom operator. Having a SIP trunk means you get a dial tone, nothing more. It is up to each organization to implement communication features on top of it. It is more suitable for larger organizations with the expertise to manage their own custom deployments.

A business can implement IP trunking with a PBX and media gateway. Or you could use SIP trunks for multimedia communication. As you can see, both can actually work together.

Why Would You Choose IP Trunking?

IP trunking or VoIP has a number of advantages over analog phone lines. It offers huge cost savings for a company. You can cut your phone bills by as much as 30% to 50%! Even a small business or startup can use VoIP without requiring much investment.

If you choose to buy hosted VoIP services, you won’t even have the hassle of maintaining hardware and software. You don’t need in-house IT teams to manage the system. Users can change settings and configure their accounts through a web dashboard. You can also connect mobile devices to make calls on the road.

Who Should Select SIP Trunks?

If VoIP offers many advantages, why would anyone opt for SIP trunks? There are several advantages here as well. For one thing, organizations with in-house expertise may prefer to control their own system. They don’t want outsiders to dictate when and how new features will be implemented.

It may take some time and money to set up a custom implementation with SIP trunks when compared to hosted VoIP. But organizations will see more savings in the long-term. This is especially true for companies that make thousands of calls per day. The cost per call is much less than the equivalent IP trunking solution.

IP trunking and SIP trunking have many similarities as well. Both solutions are scalable and flexible. Businesses can enhance multimedia communication and not just voice calls with either choice. While the actual numbers may differ, both offer significant cost savings. Businesses can save money on long-distance calling. Internal calls become essentially free!

At the end of the day, the right solution for you depends on your business requirements. It’s not an either this or that situation. You can use both together or not, as per your needs. Do you have IT professionals who can set up a system for you? Then go with SIP trunks. If you don’t want the hassle of maintaining your own hardware, then IP trunking with a hosted vendor is perfect.