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Although SIP and VoIP Support IP Telephony, They are Not the Same Thing

VoIP vs SIP

March 17, 2021 VoIP Vs SIP

Across the globe, today's businesses require a lot more from their ICT provider than just voice calls.

Whilst telephone calls are important for day-to-day business operations, modern offices communicate using a combination of, emails, SMS text, video conferencing, and cloud-based IM platforms. With Internet-based telecommunications becoming the standard, if you’re evaluating new business phone systems, industry terms such as VoIP and SIP are often used interchangeably and you may be inquiring about the types of business telephony options that will best suit your needs.

In this guide to SIP and VoIP communications, Voiped Telecom defines the difference between the terms and outlines how each service works, and how to decide which option will suit your business best.

What is VoIP?

VoIP is defined as 'Voice over Internet Protocol’. Voice over IP describes a digital phone call that is made over the Internet rather than a traditional analog phone line. VoIP is a broad term that describes all Internet (digital) based phone calls.

What is SIP?

SIP, rather than a service, is a digital protocol used to initiate, sustain, and end VoIP calls. SIP stands for ‘session initiation protocol’ and it is responsible for creating functioning Internet-based communications.

Both VoIP and SIP represent Internet-based alternatives to traditional telephony, however, SIP and VoIP are different in fundamental ways.

Distinctively, VoIP is a voice situated technology whilst SIP is a multimedia communications protocol. Whether you choose VoIP or SIP there are key differences between the two systems.

What are the benefits of VoIP for business communications?

If your organization is considering moving from a traditional phone line to VoIP, you’ll need to understand VoIP's advantages and limitations so that you know what to expect from a VoIP system.

Lower costs

To send a voice call over the Internet, VoIP uses packet switching instead of circuit switching protocols that traditional telephone switchboard operators conduct. In most cases, where traditional telephone operators are no longer used to conduct call switching, the cost associated with traditional voice calls is significantly lowered when businesses update their telephone system to VoIP.

Improvements in voice call expenditure can exceed a 50% saving when companies switch to VoIP. For both local and international calls, VoIP is a cheaper option than a traditional phone line, and eliminates the need for hardware such as a physical telephone wire, and allows the user to make calls wirelessly from any location through an Internet connection.

Flexibility

Does your company have multiple office locations? Do you hire remote employees? Many businesses today are working from multiple locations and VoIP offers a fantastic way to keep everyone connected within the same cloud phone system.

This means that if are working remotely, from any location, you can still make and receive calls through an Internet connection.

The flexibility that VoIP offers is a key reason that businesses make the switch to VoIP. Having the ability to keep your business line with you at all times can transform the way your team functions and increase your company's productivity.

Scalability

When a business grows and adds employees, whereas a landline phone would require contacting your telephone service provider, arranging a convenient time to install phone lines, and purchasing hardware, adding additional VoIP lines is extremely simple.

With a cloud-based phone system such as 3CX, a business can control adding additional phone lines directly from an online admin portal. This means that with the click of a button, as your business grows, relocates, or changes in any way, you can make the necessary adjustment to your phone line on your own.

What is SIP Trunking?

SIP trunking is a method of delivering voice and unified communication sessions over the Internet.

SIP trunking works with an IP-enabled PBX (private branch exchange) and serves as a bridge between VoIP and the PSTN (public phone network).

Rather than a physical phone line, a SIP trunk is a virtual connection between your business and an Internet telephony service provider that creates, modifies and terminates sessions with multiple parties in an IP network.

This means that through SIP trunking a business can make many concurrent calls whether a two-way call or a multi-party conference call.

Many SIP trunking providers offer plans that provide inbound, outbound, local, and long-distance calls on a per-channel basis.

What are the advantages of SIP for business communications?

Because the SIP protocol can be used within a VoIP system, once you’ve decided to switch to a VoIP system, SIP offers an agile and robust interface that operates independently of the communications session.

Multimedia Integration

Because SIP enables the integration of different types of multimedia channels such as video, voice, and text into a single system, today, many companies are opting to use VoIP with SIP. This means that a business can transmit voice calls, video calls, and conference calls and seamlessly integrate unified communication (UC) suites. SIP is highly flexible and provides failover options in the case of emergencies.

Mobility

SIP technology enables your organizations to connect your employees' mobile devices via flexible, user-friendly VoIP apps that can be securely installed. This means that your remote workforce can remain connected to your on-premise-based communication systems, and contactable at all times via a single, dedicated business phone line.

Network consolidation

SIP trunking enables enterprises to move their voice and data into a single network so that voice calls are included as a form of data transmission.

Although SIP trunking commonly increases the bandwidth demands on your data connection, SIP ultimately offers significant savings and increases reliability, particularly when combined with fiber-optic Internet connectivity.

Should I Choose VoIP or SIP Trunking?

Whether you choose VoIP or SIP, the factors that most businesses will need to consider will depend on:

Your business needs and requirements: VoIP offers less of an opportunity to control functionalities for customization and security, whilst with SIP, you’re in control of the requirements that meet your business needs.

Your budget and resources: Whilst hosted VoIP has an initial outlay for as little as €20 per month per user, SIP trunking is a cheaper and more flexible long-term option, though you will need to purchase the IP PBX and other hardware components upfront.

Availability of in-house expertise: With VoIP, you usually won’t require external assistance to manage the phone system, whilst with SIP trunking the vendor manages the system. A reputable SIP provider will have multiple resources for troubleshooting and support as well.

Long-term considerations: What is the growth potential for your business? If your business needs change considerably, your hosted VoIP provider may not be able to meet them.

By understanding the differences between VoIP and SIP deployments, it’s easier to decide which option will be best suitable for your business.

Voiped Telecom provides robust and agile wholesale SIP for business enterprises across Europe, if you have any questions about deciding between VoIP and SIP, our team of experts would be happy to help.