SIP Trunks to PRI Signaling
Can this be done? We’re doing it. By using third party equipment, we can terminate SIP trunks and convert back to traditional PRI signaling. This extends the benefits of SIP trunking to those that don’t want to upgrade their PBX yet.
Don’t get me wrong – if your organization needs to upgrade their phone system, but doesn’t have the money, by all means use the 40% – 70% SAVINGS associated with SIP trunks to justify the purchase. We’ll often wrap the phone system acquisition into a lease, convert the customer to SIP trunks, and still save the customer money AFTER the lease payment.
Negotiating SIP trunk Conversions
Sorry, back to converting SIP trunks to traditional connections…So far it works great. Depending on the scenario, it’s solved some other issues too. In our testing, we’ve realized that this SIP conversion equipment drastically speeds up the fail-over between two Internet connections. That’s because this equipment negotiates between the two Internet connections and reestablishes SIP trunking on the backup should the primary fail. In some cases, we were on a live call when we killed the primary Internet connection and didn’t drop the call! Other times we dropped the call but the SIP trunks were back up within seconds. Ask your traditional PRI provider to do that!
SIP RFC Interpretation
Here’s the other problem it solves (and maybe more important) – SIP providers (ITSPs) and IP PBX manufactures interpret the SIP RFC in different ways – Go figure! Although a SIP provider’s website might say they’re certified with a specific SIP manufacture, doesn’t mean that all features will work. In some cases, exotic PBX features like conference and hunt groups (I’m being sarcastic about the exotic part) didn’t work as advertised (or at all for that matter). This isn’t placing blame on the ITSP or manufacture, it’s merely a fact of technology adaption. Everybody knows they HAVE TO come to the game – but they’re all trying to figure out what the rules are. So in these circumstances, converting SIP trunks back to good old PRIs was appropriate. Oh, if your manufacture or SIP provider say they’ve been through “extensive certification testing” with each other- take it with a grain of salt.
Integrated Access Devices
There are a lot of solutions that convert SIP to traditional dial tone connections – they’re called Integrated Access Devices (IADs). We’ve settled on one manufacture that’s working flawlessly. Get a hold of us and I’ll share the magic sauce with you 🙂
So what about converting SIP trunks back to analog POTS lines? We haven’t done it yet. However, we’ve signed a sub-agent who will be delivering a lot of SIP trunks to rural companies with key systems. So we’re testing a few different configurations now. I’ll keep you posted.