As 2025 rolls ever-closer, businesses just like yours are exploring ways to future-proof their operations once the PSTN and ISDN lines are deactivated permanently.

This will mean that everyone using a landline will need to upgrade their technology to an internet-based calling solution, or risk losing contact with their customers, prospects and commercial partners.

The two main technologies that enable this transition are ‘VoIP’ – short for Voice over Internet protocol, and SIP – ‘Session Initiated Protocol’. But, before we get into the questions you need to ask yourself when exploring SIP solutions, we need to establish what VoIP and SIP are, and how they differ.

What is SIP?

SIP isn’t exactly ‘bleeding edge’ technology. It’s been around for a while, mainly used by large enterprises to ensure a consistent communications experience across global operations. Even before the pandemic, smaller businesses started to embrace the technology, and the push to work from home only accelerated its adoption.

In essence, it’s a method to transfer data between two points concurrently, so you can hear the person on the other side, and vice versa, in real-time. But it doesn’t have to be voice data.

SIP Trunking can be used to facilitate file transfers, audio and video conferencing, video calls, instant messaging and more. Basically, it’s the underlying technology that enables operations to put all their communication methods under one umbrella to enhance productivity and functionality.

How is it different to VoIP?

If SIP is the foundation for data transfers from two points, think of VoIP as a specific protocol for voice data only. It’s designed to keep audio quality high and latency (the delay between you saying something and the person on the other end hearing it) as low as possible.

In essence, VoIP is the technology that allows businesses and consumers alike to do away with their landlines and replace it with an equivalent service, simply transferring the data over a different network.

For businesses, it means staff can make and take calls from anywhere (As long as they have an internet connection), on any device, such as a mobile, tablet or computer.

How can VoIP drive growth in your business?

Key considerations

Modern customers expect to converse with businesses in the same way they do with their friends and family, which means the communication methods we mentioned earlier (chatbots, instant messaging etc.) need to be supported. Which means, if you’re looking to enhance your communications, chances are you’re looking at some form of SIP solution that does more that simply replicate the typical phone line.

Exploring possible solutions and the costs attached can become a complex mismatch of features and allowances, so here are our 4 main considerations you need to focus on, when finding your next communications platform.

Concurrent calls

When determining how many SIP channels your business requires, it is imperative that you consider the number of concurrent calls (this includes both inbound and outbound) that your business may need to handle at any one time.

This is because every 10 concurrent calls you make equates to roughly 1Mbps of bandwidth required. As the number of concurrent calls you expect increases, so does the bandwidth needed to facilitate those calls.

Therefore, enough bandwidth needs to be provisioned to ensure reliable connections, but then an allowance must also be added for peak-times and business growth.

Minute allowances

The other calling condition you should consider is the number, and length of your calls, so that you can estimate the included minutes required on your service allowance.

Many providers (including us) will offer bundle packages with SIP channels, to make billing more predictable – no one likes the feeling of bill shock when the charge is much higher than expected!

But we also have the flexibility to offer bespoke tariffs that may end up being cheaper if your business is likely to have a very low volume of calls.

New numbers

As part of the move to a new provider, you may wish to re-jig departments and headcounts, or simply have some new numbers ready to go at a moment’s notice – possibly for a specific marketing campaign, hotline, or for new members of staff.

Remember, all of this can achieved with minimal set-up costs and comparatively cheaper on-going costs!

Porting numbers

The porting process is a key stage of the transition process – whether to a new technology or a new provider – as your business cannot afford to have any sort of lengthy down-time, where customers are unable to contact you, possibly leading to frustrated customers looking elsewhere for a comparable product or service.

While number porting is, on the whole, a simple process, it can take up to 30 days, which is why we recommend a phased approach – porting some numbers before others to ensure continuity.

Though, depending on the time of year, size of business and several other factors, a comprehensive port could be possible over a holiday, or while the business is closed for an extended period of time.

While these are by no means all the considerations you have to work through in your journey to internet-based calling and communications, they are certainly some of the broadest and most applicable to all users, to ensure a reliable, cost-effective service.

Many other considerations are more nuanced, dependant on your size, industry and end-goals. So, if you’re looking to upgrade your business telephony to a SIP solution, you’ll need an experienced partner, like Jutel, to support you through the process.

We understand how difficult working with large vendors and network operators can be. Thankfully, with extensive industry experience, we have the added advantage of not only knowing what level of service you expect, but more importantly knowing how to ensure you get it!

In other words, we bridge the gap between you and the service providers, being large enough to offer a high quality, bespoke services and account management, yet small enough to remain agile and responsive to your issues and wider business telecom needs.

So, what are you waiting for? Speak to our team on 0333 00 69696 or email info@jutel.co.uk to start on your journey to a better communications experience!