It’s certainly true that IP telephony offers a much more robust telephony experience than traditional analog telephony. However that robust experience often comes with an upfront expense.
So what if you’re not financially ready to invest in a VoIP PBX?
You’ve still got options.
VoIP Service providers most commonly offer SIP Trunking in order to allow you to make VoIP calls using your phone system – either analog or VoIP. If you’ve never heard of a SIP Trunk a good way to think of it is as a phone call routed over the IP infrastructure of a carrier using VoIP technology. Today SIP Trunking is the standard transport method for VoIP calling.
For your business utilizing SIP Trunking means you no longer no longer need a PSTN connection or costly PRI/BRI’s. Electing to take advantage of SIP Trunking affords the opportunity for smart and cost effective solutions such as only requiring one connection for both data and voice.
After a bit of research, you may have decided on a SIP Trunking provider that best suits your needs.
This leads us to how exactly you leverage SIP Trunking with your existing PBX.
For that you’ll need an FXS VoIP gateway.
SIP Trunks can be brought in to an Analog or Legacy PBX via a FXS gateway. In a prior blog, I had touched upon FXS and skimmed the possibilities of an FXS gateway. FXS, Foreign Exchange Station, is a telephone interface which supplies battery power, provides dialtone, and generates ringing voltage. FXS devices must connect to an FXO device such as your Analog PBX.
Connecting an FXS Gateway to Analog PBX
Take a look at any Analog PBX and you will notice FXO ports on the actual PBX. An FXS gateway will be connect to these ports in a 1 to 1 type setting. Meaning, If you have 8 FXO ports on your Analog PBX, you will require an 8 port FXS gateway to connect to the SIP trunks.
Take a look at this diagram on SIP Trunking via a VoIP Gateway:
FXS Gateways come in a range of sizes from 2-24 port to suit businesses of all sizes. They can also be used in conjunction with one another to scale even higher.
All in all, it is possible to “save” your recent investment in an analog PBX or further your communications experience with SIP Trunking while not being able to financially support an IP PBX.