In a previous post we touched on the idea of SIP trunking and how it can save you significant money on carrier service costs while also aiding your unified communications efforts. Judging from the latest numbers from market watchers at Infonetics, it appears companies are getting the message.
Infonetics says the global SIP trunking services market is on track to grow 35% in 2014, to $4.4 billion. When any market is growing at 35%, it should make folks stand up and take notice – and that is certainly the case with SIP trunking.
“In North America, slightly more than 20% of the installed business trunks are SIP trunking today, with significant upside opportunity,” says Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS at Infonetics Research in a statement about the report.
Infonetics sees continued growth on the horizon, with the market reaching $8 billion in 2018.
SIP Trunks Save Money, Add Flexibility
Just what is so appealing about SIP trunking to warrant this much interest? For starters, it can save you money, with estimates ranging from 30% to 60% depending on your exact service mix. That’s because, as we explained previously, you can buy SIP trunks in any increment you want, as opposed to the fixed bandwidth chunks according to which ISDN PRI, T1 and T3 services are generally sold. That means you’re not wasting money on bandwidth you don’t really need.
What’s more, SIP trunks are far more flexible than PRI or T1 circuits, both of which come with a fixed number of circuits – 24, to be exact. SIP trunks, by contrast, are virtual, meaning you can divvy up the available bandwidth any way you want. A connection to handle a presence query, for example, will take far less bandwidth than one for videoconferencing. With SIP trunking, you’re not wasting bandwidth by using a fat circuit for a skinny application.
Session Initiation Protocol - A Natural Partner for UC Applications
SIP trunks also work hand-in-hand with unified communications applications. SIP, or Session Initiation Protocol, is the signaling standard used to set up and tear down sessions in a UC environment. These sessions could be supporting any form of communications, from an IP-based phone call to a video chat or simple presence query. A given UC interaction often requires multiple SIP sessions. Say you’re on a videoconference with three folks at remote locations. At the same time, you’re instant messaging with a colleague who is also on the conference, then decide to share your desktop screen for all to see – that’s at least three SIP sessions at once, all carried over your SIP trunk.
SIP trunking can also handle hybrid environments, supporting both internal and hosted UC services, including hosted PBX offerings, Infonetics notes. The company also points out that, while many companies are implementing SIP trunking, “they are not cutting 100% of connections to SIP on day one; rather, SIP is typically being deployed at one or two sites to start.”
You also get a great deal of redundancy and improved disaster recovery capabilities with SIP trunks. Because they’re based on IP, SIP trunks are highly programmable. Each individual session or the entire trunk can be designed to fail over to an alternate transport medium, if available, or to an alternate location in the event of a failure at the primary site. The growth in SIP trunking is also driving increased growth in the Session Border Controller market, according to Infonetics in a separate report. Specifically designed to act as the security layer for SIP trunks, in much the same way that firewalls act as the security layer for data networks, businesses are turning to SBCs to secure their IP-based communications as they turn to SIP for their UC and VoIP deployments.
“There is no denying the world is moving to IP, and SIP has become the de facto solution of choice for businesses for IP connections,” says Infonetics’ Myers.