What you need to know about setting up a SIP trunk in Canada

Are you looking to set up a SIP Trunk in Canada? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know to get started, including what a SIP Trunk is and the benefits of using one. 

Whether you are a small business owner or a large enterprise, this blog post will help you understand the ins and outs of SIP Trunking in Canada, so you can make the best decision for your organization. Keep reading to learn more! 

What is SIP Trunking? 

SIP Trunking is a service that allows businesses to use their internet connection to make and receive phone calls, instead of traditional telephone lines. SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol, the mechanism by which call sessions are established over the Internet. 

SIP Trunking uses the internet to connect a business’s private branch exchange (PBX) or phone system to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). This allows businesses to make and receive calls using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology, which can be more cost-effective and flexible than traditional telephone lines. SIP Trunks also allow for features such as flexible call routing, mobility, failover, voicemail, and call recording, making it a comprehensive phone line solution for business communication needs. 

In layman’s terms, a SIP trunk allows a company to use their internet connection to connect their phone system to the public phone network. This means that instead of using expensive and limiting landlines, the phone system can make and receive calls through the internet. 

This can be more cost-effective and flexible for businesses because it eliminates the need for multiple phone lines and can offer advanced features such as call routing management, mobility, failover configuration, voicemail to email, and call recording.  

It’s like a virtual phone line that allows the company to communicate with customers and other businesses through the internet, rather than traditional phone lines. Before we go into the details of SIPtrunking, let’s quickly understand how it works. 

How does a SIP trunk work? 

A SIP Trunk works by connecting a business’s phone system (PBX) to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) using the internet. Here is how it works:

  1. Your business PBX system sends a call request to the SIP trunk provider over the internet using SIP protocol.
  2. The SIP trunk provider authenticates the request and routes the call to the PSTN.
  3. The call is then connected to the desired phone number, just like a traditional phone call. 

On the receiving end, the process is very similar but in reverse:

  1. The call comes into the PSTN and is routed to the SIP trunk provider over the internet.
  2. The SIP trunk provider authenticates the call and routes it to your business phone system.
  3. The call is then connected to the appropriate extension or voicemail system within your business. 

Which industries/businesses should consider using SIP Trunks? 

To put it simply, all industries and businesses should and many already are using SIP trunks! SIP Trunks are becoming widely adopted as the go-to method for connecting business phone networks to the internet. SIP Trunks are essential for any business that already has an IP PBX system. However, if you are new to phone systems or are transitioning from an analog or legacy PBX, you have the option to choose between an on-premise IP PBX or a fully cloud-based phone system.  

As a rule of thumb, companies that have on-site IT management, a well-designed and maintained IT environment, and a comprehensive network security plan in place may consider using SIP trunks with an on-premise phone system. This is important since setting up on-site hardware and the acquisition of associated IT experts can prove to be very expensive. 

If your business does not have these experts, a hosted PBX or cloud phone system may be a more suitable option as it offers a similar level of features and reliability while reducing the setup and maintenance costs compared to on-premise alternatives. RingOffice Solution Consultants can help you in determining the best-fit communication solution for your business. 

SIP Trunks vs Channels vs Lines 

Historically, landlines have often been referred to as trunks in the PBX world. Likewise, when grouping lines together, they are often referred to as a trunk group or hunt group. Similarly, telcos offer digital PRI services and also refer to each of the 23 call paths in the PRI line as channels. 

SIP Trunk providers have borrowed from these terms to describe how their services are delivered. A SIP Trunk is typically a connectivity service offered by VoIP providers to connect a business phone system to the PSTN via the Internet. On the other hand, channels or lines refer to the number of concurrent voice calls that can be made over a SIP Trunk. 

A SIP channel represents one voice path or call session. The number of SIP channels your business needs will depend on the number of calls your business makes and receives at any given time. 

Benefits of setting up a SIP Trunk for your business 

There are a number of productivity-enhancing features, process-optimization benefits and efficiencies associated with using a SIP Trunk for your business communication requirements. 

1. Be present around the world 

With SIP Trunks, you can expand your business presence to as many global locations as you require. Even if you do not have a physical office at a given location, you can acquire a number with the dialing code of virtually any location. 

It allows businesses to have a local presence in multiple locations without the need for physical infrastructure or multiple telephone lines. This is particularly beneficial for businesses with offices in different provinces or cities.

For example, if your business is located in Canada or the USA but your clientele is based in the UK, you can simply acquire a number with a UK dial code to optimize customer experience, leverage different time zones, and maintain a localized presence.  

2. Failover call routes 

Failover call routing is an important feature for businesses that rely on their phone systems for critical operations, as it helps ensure that calls can be made and received in the event of an outage or other problem. 

SIP Trunking can enable you to control call flows before they reach your phone system. This helps you manage call traffic by routing calls to a secondary destination when your phone system is down, or you need to perform maintenance or there is a loss of power or Internet. This feature ensures that calls can still be made and received during an outage or disaster. 

For example, if a business phone system is down and unreachable by the SIP Trunk due to an internet outage, the failover call routing feature will automatically route calls to a secondary SIP, landline or mobile number, or any combination of these to ensure the business can continue to make and receive calls. 

3. Failover voicemail or auto attendants  

Just like failover call routing, businesses can also set up failover voicemail or auto attendants to make sure that no calls are missed even if the phone system malfunctions and forwarded calls go unanswered. Auto attendants are interactive voice response systems that can answer and route calls, allowing the caller to select from a menu of options, such as reaching a specific department or person. Voicemail is a system that allows callers to leave a message when the intended recipient is not available. 

4. Scalable lines | Flexible calls management 

With SIP trunks, it is easy to increase or decrease the number of lines needed for your business as you grow. You can create dedicated lines for certain users, departments, or seasonal campaigns.

You can share a common pool of lines amongst branch offices distributed across the country or across the world. You can create custom call flows for a flexible call management system depending on the time of day or time of year.

SIP Trunks also facilitate mobility and scalability by removing telco location-based number restrictions. This means when your business grows and you move your office phone system, your numbers do not have to change. 

Unlike traditional phone lines, which require physical installation and setup, SIP trunks can be easily configured and scaled up or down as the business needs change. This makes it easier for businesses to adapt to growth or downsizing without incurring additional costs or disruptions to their communication systems.

5. Minimize Communication Costs

SIP trunks can significantly reduce communication costs. Traditional telephone lines can be expensive, especially for businesses that make a lot of long-distance or international calls. With a SIP trunk, businesses can take advantage of cheaper internet-based calling rates, resulting in substantial cost savings.

6. Advanced Features

SIP trunks offer advanced features and functionality that enhance business communication. These include call forwarding, call routing, voicemail, auto-attendant, and more. These features improve productivity and customer service by ensuring calls are efficiently handled and routed to the right individuals or departments.

7. Reliable Service

Setting up a SIP trunk in Canada requires careful planning and technical expertise. It is essential to choose a reliable and experienced service provider who can guide businesses through the setup process and offer ongoing support. With the right knowledge and support, businesses can benefit from a reliable and cost-effective solution to their communication needs.

Key factors to consider when choosing a SIP Trunk provider in Canada 

SIP trunking has become the building block of an efficient business phone system. With the rising demand for SIP trunks, the number of SIP Trunk providers is continuously increasing. However, it is essential to choose the right service provider that can truly understand your requirements and can offer reliable, business-quality service and support at a fair price. When it comes to choosing an efficient SIP trunk provider in Canada, here’s what you primarily need to look for. 

1. Service Quality  

When choosing SIP Trunk services, it is essential to discuss the strategy or policy they use for ongoing support in case of any system malfunction or emergency situations. You should check the response rates and their technical understanding of your existing PBX system to ensure that ongoing support with call routing or troubleshooting remains smooth in the future.  

2. Responsive Technical Support  

When choosing your SIP trunk provider, it is essential to consider technical support capabilities. There is no such thing as perfect. All technology will have an issue or a failure eventually. Understanding the SIP Trunk provider’s technical support standards, response times, knowledge and experience of the team, familiarity with your phone system platform, and track record of support success is crucial. When there is a system malfunction or emergency situation, you want to rest assured that a competent and responsive team will be there to quickly resolve and restore service.  

3. Network Security 

Information, data, and network security are crucial for any business. When it comes to any voice service, toll fraud is a huge threat (e.g., hackers taking advantage of your lines to make you pay for their calls). When looking for a SIP trunking provider in Canada, make sure your provider has a comprehensive network security strategy, measures to detect and prevent fraud, failsafe protections to limit liability, and network security expertise to help you if needed. Therefore, it is advisable to talk about security with your SIP trunking service provider. 

4. Cost-effectiveness 

The cost of SIP Trunking can vary greatly among providers. It is crucial to keep in mind that the cost of channels is not the only factor to consider, as setup costs, number porting, call tariffs, and any hidden fees should also be considered. 

Reputable SIP Trunk providers are transparent about their costs. It is also important to remember that the lowest-cost service is not the best. A reliable, secure SIP Trunk service that performs well and is backed by a knowledgeable support team will never be the cheapest. 

Paying a bit more for better service reliability and support will result in quicker resolution and minimal downtime when an outage or disaster strikes. RingOffice communication experts work closely to understand our client’s requirements and offer a quality solution that meets their unique needs at a fair price. 

5. Reliable service provider:

When setting up a SIP trunk in Canada, it is crucial to choose a reliable and experienced service provider. Look for providers that have a good track record and positive customer reviews. They should be able to guide you through the setup process and offer ongoing support.

6. Assess your communication needs:

Before setting up a SIP trunk, assess your communication needs. Consider factors such as the number of employees, call volume, and future growth plans. This will help you determine the number of channels and bandwidth required for your SIP trunk.

7. Check for local number availability:

If you want to have a local presence in multiple locations, check if your service provider offers local number availability. This allows you to have local phone numbers for each location, even if you don’t have physical infrastructure in those areas.

8. Ensure network readiness:

Setting up a SIP trunk requires a reliable internet connection. Ensure that your network infrastructure is ready to handle the bandwidth requirements of your SIP trunk. This may involve upgrading your internet connection or implementing Quality of Service (QoS) measures to prioritize voice traffic.

9. Configure your SIP trunk properly:

Work with your service provider to properly configure your SIP trunk. This includes setting up call routing rules, implementing security measures, and integrating with your existing phone system or Unified Communications (UC) platform. Test and monitor performance: Once your SIP trunk is set up, it is important to test and monitor its performance. Conduct test calls in Canada or the USA.

Ready to make the switch? 

RingOffice offers business-grade SIP trunking services with a range of features that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your business. We also offer a variety of calling plans to choose from, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your business. Contact us now and our solution consultants will tailor a solution that best fits your business SIP trunking needs