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Is integrating SBC functionality into the router the way forward for accelerating the availability of SIP trunking services?

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Although many businesses have deployed IP-based PBX systems to handle their corporate telephony needs, so far relatively few have then taken the next step to a full SIP trunking service particularly in Europe.

To some extent this can be explained by the “if it is not broken – why fix it” approach but is actually more to do with service providers looking to leverage maximum return from their substantial infrastructure investments and disincentivizing customers who may want to transition from their still lucrative ISDN connections.

However, many companies are now re-assessing the merits of integrating their video, data and voice requirements in a unified communications (UC) package opening up new opportunities as well as challenges for service providers. With many of these enterprises sensibly opting for a phased transition to an all-IP UC platform to avoid potential costly business disruption, CSPs are faced with connecting SIP trunks into an array of IP and legacy PBX and mixed PSTN/IP voice environments.

For Telcos and service providers this means facing an array of non-standard SIP trunk implementations, involving a mix of old and new technologies, that can result in increased operational expenditure combined with reduced revenue potential. Given this double-whammy effect it is understandable why they tend to be less than enthusiastic in actively promoting an end-to-end IP telephony platform. For that reason, TDM trunks has remained the preferred demarcation line of choice for service providers, even though TDM is converted to VoIP within their network.

However, there now seems to be an increasing momentum and growing market demand for SIP trunking services from enterprises. A recent Infonetics1 research report forecasts growth in the business adoption of UC and VoIP services to reach $35bn by 2018. Part of the report showed a massive, 50% increase in SIP trunking in the US in 2013, with similar growth in EMEA expected to follow in 2014 and beyond.

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