SIP vs Traditional Analog or T-1/ PRI Trunking

When a business starts considering an upgrade to their phone system, typically their primary concern is the telephone system’s ability to meet the needs of their employees. Employee efficiency is, of course, important, but remember that your clients (for standard businesses of guests (for hospitality) may also be affected by the switch from traditional to SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunking. 

So then, the question is begged, what’s the better option? To stick with what you know, or take the plunge into the era of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)? By taking a few minutes to compare the pros and cons of analog and SIP trunking, you can determine which solution is best for your clients or guests.

Analog and Traditional Digital Trunks

A traditional analog or digital telephone trunk is made of copper wire, which runs from a local phone company to a specific business location. This system has been in place since the invention of the telephone, so it’s not exactly state of the art, it is however, broadly reliable. Even this though is starting to change as the physical infrastructure degrades and is not repaired timely- or at all- by the local phone carrier. CSM has had clients outright told by their current phone carrier that they are being cast off as customers as they will no longer be serving our region (Windstream) or that the company is no longer repairing aging copper infrastructure in urban areas (Frontier).

With an analog system, the two ends of a phone conversation have to be physically connected through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) so that calls can be made and received. 

  • Pros: analog systems have been the main form of phone infrastructure for decades, so they’ve stood the test of time. They’re reliable, stable, and can even function without power in some cases. Analog trunks are provided and maintained by your local phone provider.
  • Cons: The biggest problem with analog trunks is the cost — nationally, the average is roughly $38 per trunk per month. Analog lines are also limited in their flexibility. A single trunk can only handle one phone call at a time and can’t be moved, so businesses have to plan enough trunks and their locations to handle their internal call load. Finally, there’s the matter of long-distance cost, which is much higher on an analog system.

SIP Trunking

SIP trunks transmit voice and other data over the Internet, digitally, instead of using the traditional protocols and hardware of the PSTN. SIP trunks enable businesses to replace fixed PSTN lines with internet connectivity — as long as your hotel has a high-speed internet connection, you don’t need any extra infrastructure.

  • Pros: SIP trunking allows calls to be transmitted over the internet connection, bypassing the local phone company and their charges. Any data that your voice calls use is a drop in the bucket compared to web browsing and streaming video, and that data will simply be rolled into the cost of your internet bill. As mentioned previously, SIP trunks are also less expensive for long-distance calls. In many cases, SIP trunk providers include all long distance calls in the monthly flat price of a SIP trunk for calls made in the US and Canada. Calls to other countries are still typically 50% less than telco rates.
  • Cons: With careful planning, there aren’t any significant drawbacks to SIP trunking. You will need to ensure that your business is equipped with enough bandwidth to handle call traffic, and ensure your network’s integrity by managing network traffic to optimize voice communications over the data network.

In the 21st century, you can’t afford to let your businesses communications technology fall behind the curve any more. If you want to know more about SIP trunking and how to bring your telecom technology up to speed, contact CSM today!

telephone system voip