What is a SIP provider?

Most people know what an Internet provider is and what services you can expect from it. But what is a SIP provider and what services does it provide or what tasks does it take over?

Making calls over the Internet with SIP providers

With VoIP (Voice over IP), customers use an internet connection, the SIP protocol and a special IP-capable telephony system to make calls over the internet. A special type of data transmission makes it necessary to use hardware such as an intermediate media gate. In order to use the VoIP (internet telephony) service, you have to register with a SIP provider. This is not a telephone provider, but a kind of central interface where you set up a user account. The account with user name and password is then used to use VoIP telephony. The advantage of this procedure is that you can save some money compared to the use of fixed network tariffs when calling abroad. This is important for internationally active companies that rely on effective and intensive communication.

What does the provider do?

The SIP provider is responsible for the servers that establish a voice connection via a roundabout route. With VoIP, the input (speaking to the telephone) is converted into data packets via SIP, so that they can be transmitted over the internet and, after a new conversion, reach the recipient of the call. The provider bypasses local routers with its servers and initiates the VoIP call via SIP. In technical jargon, the telephone or the person making the call is referred to as a client, the server as a SIP provider and SIP as the protocol that makes data transmission possible in the first place. Often a SIP trunk is used in this process. The provider also provides the directory with which a caller can be found on the internet. In short, the SIP provider is thus an intermediary.

Some people think that a provider is a company that provides the complete service or buys the hardware, but this is not the case. Since telephony via the internet works differently, it is best not to make any direct comparisons with the procedures that have been used up to now. The provider assumes responsibility for the SIP server, who in turn is responsible for setting up and terminating calls to the telephone and for the internet connection. The interface or the connection node is important here. If there are several of them in a supply area, this is advantageous: If several SIP providers forward the calls to each other free of charge, the parties involved can therefore benefit from free or at least inexpensive call connections. As soon as a call is terminated, the SIP subscriber reports this to their SIP provider, who then registers the logoff and releases the account for a new connection. In order to earn money with their service, providers have a gateway to the fixed network. This enables VoIP subscribers to make calls to the fixed network and to be reachable even from the fixed network. For the connections to the fixed network, you usually have to pay the provider.

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