Firstly, let’s get rid of the technical terms … ‘Session Initiation Protocol’ (SIP) is the common standard providing the signalling protocols to set up & control ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ (VoIP) phone calls across the Internet. … and … ‘SIP Trunks’ are the VoIP channels used to carry a telephone call, and are the modern equivalent to telephone lines … There, that’s out of the way – now to the interesting stuff.

In the first six months of 2014, we saw the UK SIP market continue to drive forward, with 137,000 new channels being commissioned. The UK market alone, now uses  [that’s at mid. 2014] in excess of 1.3 million SIP Trunk channels in both SME and large Enterprise sectors. Take-up of SIP Trunks is particularly strong where Small to Medium Enterprises need less than nine lines – where ISDN30 is often [expensive and] not appropriate, and multiple ISDN2’s are too costly!     [illume Research – July 2014]

With in excess of a million SIP Trunk channels being used by UK businesses, and with UK businesses needing to be flexible and cost-effective, it would be wise to look upon SIP Trunks as proven technology and if not already noted – to put a chat with your local VoIP expert, very high on your to-do list!

More customers are installing SIP Trunk channels on ‘Ethernet First Mile’ (EFM) and ‘Fibre to the Cabinet’ (FTTC) broadband services. EFM is a cost effective broadband service for top quality and reliable VoIP, but is expensive to install in rural areas. Fortunately the Fibre roll-out continues and hopefully we’ll have at least 50% of business premises within reach of fibre broadband by the end of 2014. As fibre roll-out continues, we’ll see the SIP Trunk market pushing toward its full potential and the majority of businesses able to take big steps toward reducing the ongoing costs of their telecom’s services. If you do it properly, a VoIP telephone system is not cheap! However, it will bring you lasting benefits in its low cost of ownership. One of the major areas where ongoing service costs can be reduced, is by using SIP Trunk channels in a broadband service, rather than ISDN lines.

As an example, a small business might need eight phone lines – so let’s compare the costs (ex. VAT) of four ISDN2e lines, against an 8-channel SIP Trunk solution:

a) ISDN2e
Each ISDN2e line is capable of carrying two simultaneous calls – therefore, to get our 8-call capacity, we’d need a total of four ISDN2e lines installed. BT’s ISDN2 pricing shows us that the connection cost of an ISDN2e line is £353.00 – and if you wish to take a 1 year contract with no inclusive calls, then an ISDN line (2 ch.) is rented at £22.74 per month. To summarise;

  • Install costs for 8 lines (4 x ISDN2e)  … £1,412.00 (one-off)
  • Monthly rental for 8 lines (4 x ISDN2e) … £91.00 per month.

b) SIP Trunks
Each SIP Trunk is capable of carrying one call into or out of your business. Therefore, to get our 8-call capacity, we’d need eight SIP Trunk channels – and we’d also need a broadband Internet service on a standard analogue line to carry those calls to and from our Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP). Quoting prices from our ITSP partner – Chicane Internet – the install of 8 lines would require the following;

  • Install cost for one Business analogue line … £105.00 (one-off)
  • Connection cost for VDSL FTTC Biz … £85.00 (one-off)  [Note that this service actually has capacity for up to 80 simultaneous VoIP calls!]
  • Connection cost for 8 SIP Trunk channels … £zero [That’s right! – no connection charge for a SIP Trunk!]
  • Monthly rental for analogue Business Line …  £13.75 per month
  • Monthly rental for VDSL FTTC Biz … £32.00 per month
  • Monthly rental for 8 x SIP Trunk channels @ £2.00 … £16.00 per month

… or to summarise;

  • One-off line & service set up costs … £190.00 +VAT (13% of the set-up of ISDN)
  • Ongoing monthly costs … £61.75 +VAT  per month (68% of the monthly cost of ISDN)

It’s figures like this that show the true & proven benefits of VoIP systems and SIP Trunks – even before you get into flexibility, such as phone numbers that can be ported to anywhere and Direct Dial numbers with any UK area code.

To have a no-obligation chat about how SIP Trunks can benefit your business, call us at Foxhall Solutions on 01787 228 402 – or use our Contact Us page on this website.