VoIP services involve phone calls being made over the internet, as opposed to traditional landline means. In doing so, VoIP offers services that include tremendous cost efficiency as well as advanced features. Amongst VoIP services are the Hosted PBX service and the SIP Trunking service. While these services are similar in function and feature, they also represent different means to the same end. With that, it may be hard to differentiate the services. While each service has various applications, both often overlap one another. For example, SIP Trunking services require an IP-PBX.
Hosted PBX: Hosted PBX is a telephone system that provides advanced VoIP services while not having to account for all the necessary on-site equipment. PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is where an incoming call can be routed to different extensions; therefore, when the PBX is hosted, the user does not have to provide on-premises equipment. Instead, a service provider handles the technical aspect(s).
Aside from the technical aspect, Hosted PBX offers several benefits. In addition to routing calls, handling holds and transfers, and allowing more than one person to be reached from a single business number, Hosted PBX also manages all incoming calls (not immediately picked up). Hosted PBX also comes full with standard VoIP services including voicemail, faxes, automated greetings/messages, touchtone menus, conferences, call recordings and phone calls.
While SIP Trunking comes equipped with the above features, Hosted PBX also offers cost efficiency as there is no high startup cost for buying hardware. Also, there’s never upgrade cost or changing hardware costs. Hosted PBX allows small businesses to receive PBX service much more easily.
SIP Trunking: SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) Trunking helps better the quality and efficiency of the user’s communications by eliminating the need for Primary Rate Interfaces (PRIs), ISDN Basic Rate Interfaces (BRIs), and local Public Switched Telephone Network gateways. Ultimately, SIP Trunking uses VoIP to facilitate the connection of a PBX to the internet. To utilize SIP Trunking, users must have a PBX capable of connecting to all internal end-users, an Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP), and a gateway that works as an interface between the PBX and ITSP.
With SIP Trunking, the internet replaces the traditional trunk (a line/link that carries multiple signals at once, connecting centers and nodes in a communications system). In doing this, users can communicate with both fixed and mobile subscribers all over the world.
While SIP Trunking includes the same set of standard of VoIP features like Hosted PBX, this service also allows for data to be combines, voice, and video into a single line. Subsequently, this eliminates the need for separate media for each mode. As a result of this, users experience greater cost efficiency and reliability.
Differences: One of the main differences between these two services is the size of the intended use. For example, for a small business with 20 employees or less, a Hosted PBX solution is the better choice. Opposite this, businesses with 20+ employees typically benefit from the SIP Trunking service. While both services offer the same services, Hosted PBX offers a less expensive smaller scale, which can better benefit small businesses.
Another difference rests within the level of flexibility both services offer. Typically, SIP Trunking provides the same IT infrastructure to maintain a user’s PBX but also offers a greater level of flexibility in pricing. In using SIP Trunking, users can employ multiple service providers based on rates and time of day. Opposite this is the Hosted PBX service. The Hosted service can potentially cut some configuration; however, many providers are willing to meet users’ requirements.
SIP Trunking is also able to offer superior security. Hosted PBX leaves ports open, which defeats the purpose of a firewall and leaves your system open to serious security issues. Additionally, the IP PBX that is utilized by SIP Trunking allows for much less bandwidth to be used. Hosted PBX, on the other hand, uses as much as 6-8 times more. This is due to Hosted PBX’s inability to scale accordingly.
Both SIP Trunking and Hosted PBX services offer several features and benefits. While they often overlap, SIP Trunking is becoming the more commonly selected option. This is a result of some advantages including increased security, quality of service, greater cost efficiency, and flexibility. Despite this, Hosted PBX services still offer users tremendous features; however, they ultimately are not as inclusive as the SIP Trunking service.