Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking isn't very sexy. It is, however, one of the main ways in which a company can save money by using VoIP.
Often, VoIP connections are mixed affairs, in which the call switches from Internet protocol (IP) to time-division multiplexed (TDM) status and perhaps, at the other end of the pipe, to IP. This is good, of course, since it brings the cost and feature advantages of VoIP to the customer. But further advances will fall to those who use SIP trunking to eschew the traditional network entirely.
A big step was taken toward this all-SIP future last month when the SIP Forum ratified version 1.0 of its SIPconnect Technical Recommendation. The release says the spec enables the interconnection of private branch exchanges designed to handle VoIP (IP PBXs) and VoIP providers. Thus, VoIP gateways, the hardware and/or software that tie enterprise IP networks to the PSTN, are no longer necessary. This, the release says, enables better voice quality and increases the number of services that can be delivered. A SIPconnect 1.1 task force also has been formed.
This Telecommunications piece offers commentary but few details on the newly formed relationship between Toshiba, which has won SIPconnect Compliant status, and small and medium-sized business (SMB) provider service provider Cbeyond. The takeaway from the piece is that SIP offers advantages that are appropriate for extremely small companies. The SIP trunking functions are embedded in many Toshiba PBXs and can be accessed once the company buys the proper license. The details on the partnership, which will provide SIP trunking services to small firms, are available here.
Avaya, another vendor who received SIPconnect Compliant status from the SIP Forum, late last month announced that it has added SIP capabilities, including trunking, to its IPT family. The upgrades are in the company's Avaya Communications Manager 5.0. The release also announced SIP-based upgrades to a number of other products in its IP telephone line.