What Does SIP Mean? Understanding Tech and Terms

June 10, 2013, By Alex Ion

With the increase in SIP deployment in business and more and more companies considering investing in SIP, employees, IT managers and decision makers are looking to access more information on SIP Trunking technology and its associated terms.

Recent industry research has shown that by the end of 2012, the market saw a 60% growth YOY and this is not looking likely to slow for a while, making resellers more than market ready.

SIP Trunking is a highly technical business element, and as a decision maker you must be knowledgeable and have the back up (of an IT manager or dedicated support team) to ensure migration from ISDN runs smoothly.

SIP-trunkingBut what about employees? Surely they have the right to at least understand how the new technology effecting their comms, works. So for those out there that get bogged down by industry jargon, Gamma SIP Trunks have put together an overview of the top SIP terms explained.


Short for “Voice over Internet Protocol”, VoIP describes the technology allowing telephone calls can be made over a computer network connection. VoIP can be enabled on a company network (LAN – see below) for internal call routing, or externally over a broadband connection.


“Session Initiation Protocol” is used to control VoIP calls, providing the mechanism by which callers can connect and communicate. SIP routes voice calls over internet connections, helping to prevent interference and maintain call quality.


A private branch exchange (PBX) manages calls once they reach your company, helping to route them to the correct extension. The PBX also routes internal calls between your staff. VoIP calling requires an IP-PBX, an Internet Protocol PBX.

SIP Trunking

Using the SIP protocol, providers like Gamma provide telephone services to customers using an IP-PBX to make VoIP calls. SIP Trunking provides the connectivity and flexibility required to make IP phone calls at low cost.


ISDN, Integrated Services Digital Network, is a legacy system allowing for transmission of voice calls, video and data over the public telephone network. Older PBX systems typically work on ISDN lines.


The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), is the traditional circuit-switched telephone network that has provided end-to-end telecommunications for decades. ISDN and fixed landlines connect directly to the PSTN, whereas VoIP communications are routed via computer networks and the internet instead.


The Local Area Network (LAN) is used to allow your company computers and telephone extensions to communicate with each other. Your LAN is only used for communications within the company.

UC (Unified Communications)

Tools like Microsoft Lync offer “unified communications” platforms, designed to link an employee’s email, chat, video and telecoms presence into a single point of contact. The idea is that by connecting and centralising these technologies, it becomes easier to contact people and improves business communication efficiency. Lync can also replace the traditional hardware PBX (see above).

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