The whole idea behind SIP Trunking is to enable flexibility and return on investment for enterprises, to give them an option of moving to SIP trunks when and how they want to, while reaping the financial benefits of a converged network. Whether their main motivation is to save money over the local telco trunks alternative or to begin building a foundation for the future or Unified Communications, SIP Trunking gives them freedom of choice.
So freedom and flexibility and choice are good. So is forward thinking when you are formulating strategies for future success. Alternatively, captivity and limited options and lack of choice are bad. Most of us would have to agree with all of this.
We wanted to establish that before sending you over to have a look at a fascinating NoJitter article about how one major carrier is handling the whole SIP Trunking issue. With the title “AT&T Demands Control Over Its Customers' Deployment of SIP Trunking,” you pretty much get a sense of what this long and nicely detailed article has to say.
Written by an attorney, it examines our competitor’s approach to SIP Trunking, which can be described briefly as essentially establishing a veto over when and how and if their customers deploy SIP. In other words, forcing customers to stay with legacy technologies when that may not be in their best interest.
As the author declares, “AT&T is making a concerted effort to control its ILEC customers' migration to SIP trunking, which AT&T and everyone else in the industry agrees is now the most cost-effective way for enterprises to buy local (and sometimes LD) voice services. There is no legitimate business or technical justification for this. AT&T is just trying to protect a legacy business and extract extra profits from captive customers. “
Terming our competitor “Bell-headed,” the author also explains how it uses local service leverage, especially for larger companies with operations in many states (since in 23 states, AT&T owns the dominant ILEC), to deter those companies from moving to the more efficient trunking alternative. In the end, the business goal is to extracting “as much revenue as possible for the use of old technology by captive customers and demanding a hefty premium and lengthy commitments as a condition for allowing customers to implement SIP trunking.”
As for Sprint, we are quite proud of the fact that we are not conflicted, as AT&T is, and don’t have to resort to stifling IP adoption for our customers in lieu of legacy services. Sprint is fully committed to IP telephony and the benefits that it brings to customers who adopt it.
As the article notes, SIP Trunking can significantly "reduce access costs, improve bandwidth utilization, and bring down operational expenses." It also lets you reduce the number of local providers to one. For that, Sprint’s internal network is a perfect example. We implemented SIP trunking and UC a few years ago. It allowed us to “fire” multiple LECs and reduce our trunking expense by 30-40 percent.
By being completely focused on IP, Sprint has built extensive knowledge about legacy voice systems and IP migrations, and can better help customers realize the benefits of moving to a SIP Trunking solution. Sprint understands that IP is the end game. All customers will eventually migrate to an IP trunking or hosted solution, so we feel we are in a good position to help customers as they are ready to make the move.