Rapid rise in number of SIP channels points to costly waste

Super-sized SIP trunks adding unnecessary costs to IP-based communications

Auckland, 18 June 2019 – Businesses are over subscribing SIP trunks, frittering away savings delivered by the IP-based technology standard supporting VoIP.

Analysis of thousands of communications technology deployments around the globe conducted by UC service management vendor Virsae (www.virsae.com) shows the continued demise of Primary Rate Interface (PRI) traditional telephony trunks in favor of voice-over-IP (VoIP) trunks delivered over Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) – a market expected to reach USD 28.8 billion by 2025, according to research by Data Bridge.

Corroborating the trend, Virsae’s analysis shows the sun setting on PRI trunks as more organisations adopt SIP trunking, which now accounts for 82 per cent of capacity deployed globally, up from 74 per cent just 12 months ago. Interestingly, North America is leading the charge to SIP trunks by a long shot, with a 17/83 per cent split. APAC comes in next at 23/77, with EMEA trailing at 29/71.

However, closer analysis reveals a growing penchant for super-sized SIP trunk groups, indicating a degree of channel over-subscription that leads to associated cost increases that could bite into savings attributed to the IP-based technology standard regarded as the cheaper option.

A closer look at the size of SIP trunk groups shows an increase in the average number of channels from 128 to 154 over the last 12 months. In the meantime, the average number of PRI trunk group channels remained constant at 37.

Ross Williams, Virsae’s COO, said the zero-cost nature of SIP configuration – which, unlike PRI, comes free of hardware and licencing – encouraged the growth of super-sized trunks.

Williams said consolidating distributed PRI trunk groups to centralised SIP should result in fewer channels, not more. “Before signing up to a telco provider, organisations should conduct trunk group consolidation modelling to keep the number of channels in check.

“There’s a temptation for engineers to administer plenty of channels in the world of SIP,” said Williams. “Another gotcha is that while the SIP signalling side doesn’t require hardware, the media side does. And because media resources aren’t visible to SIP trunk configuration, engineers are likely to over-endow their networks, resulting in unnecessary costs.”

Williams suggests engineers should tighten up their management of media resource capacity and distribution on their networks, paying special attention to sensitivities related to H.323 stations.

H.323 stations rely on media resources to transcode SIP traffic. “These elements must be measured, scaled, and distributed correctly to ensure they can handle activity, and keep costs in check,” said Williams.

Each month Virsae Service Management (VSM) processes more than 12 billion transactions created by millions of endpoints in thousands of customer sites globally.

Virsae’s multi-vendor UC service management platform, VSM, is built on the ITIL framework to support the world’s leading UC manufacturers including Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, NEC, and Microsoft, along with a number of XCaas and CPaas providers.

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