When looking into moving away from a traditional phone system whether you are looking for more features or are forced to because phone system is no longer supported. You will see VoIP, PBX, SIP, and SIP Trunk all thrown around, but what do these actually mean, and what do they provide for you.

Let’s start with PBX or (Private Branch eXchange) this over time has become a generalized term to mean a business telephone system that handles the routing and switching of call between a business location and the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). Which received its name from the phone system beginnings when it was a switchboard operator who would route and connect the calls with the telephone network. You can think of a PBX like a tree you have the (trunk) the main line connecting to the telephone network, then (Branch) the smaller endpoints that connect to it and handle smaller amounts of traffic, then finally the (Leaves) Destination Endpoints such as phones, fax, machines, etc. that receive and originate the traffic. “Private” is the fact that though it can connect to the PSTN it is also separate from it. “Branch” describes the properties of how a PBX fits into a PSTN, and “eXchange” the method by which connections are exchanged through a switching system, by which allowing a larger number of calls to be routed through a limited number of lines. Hosted PBX is simply the transition of moving from a hardware based on-premises system to a virtualized cloud system, thus allowing for greater expandability, redundancy, and reach.

Next is VoIP (Voice over IP) also called IP Telephony, is the group of methods and technologies that allow the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over IP (Internet Protocol) networks such as the public internet. This VoIP technology converts the analog voice signal used in traditional phone calls into a digital signal that is broken up into packets that travel via the Internet rather than analog phone lines. VoIP service also enables a larger variety of calls such as video, conference, webinars, and telephone for both commercial and personal use, at affordable prices. Previously web conferencing, and video conferencing were limited to companies that could justify the expense for dedicated links and specialized hardware. There are also a few cons to VoIP, such as internet outages, power outages, network congestion, and LAG. Also, to be noted is 911 services, make sure you have an e911 registration for all of your locations, because typically non-identified 911 calls to the centralized call center can be charged up to $100 per occurance!

Next is SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) it is simply one method of facilitating voice communications as well as text and video. Commercial and residential users that don’t need to interface to a traditional analog line, and simply want inbound and outbound calling do not need SIP, VoIP alone would be enough. However, for example if your business has an on-premises PBX or phone system, you can transition to VoIP by having a SIP Trunk connecting your system to the internet, removing some of the costs of copper, PRI, T1 or T3 connectivity to the PSTN Network.

For the most part with a quality UCaaS provider such as The Phone NutZ supporting your Hosted PBX, trunking is built into the system. And if you are in transition or fully migrating, we can connect you with SIP Trunking, local phone numbers, long-distance phone numbers, or keep your existing number and have us port it to your new Hosted PBX or SIP Trunk.

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