What about DSL, Cable, satellite and 3G wireless? They don’t fall into this category because they are based on shared rather than dedicated bandwidth and asymmetrical rather than symmetrical bandwidth. Likewise, DS3, SONET and Ethernet over Fiber aren’t in the same league because they offer much higher bandwidths at proportionally higher prices.
Still, If you like Ethernet over Copper you’ll like Ethernet over Fiber as you move up in bandwidth. DS3 and SONET are higher bandwidth versions of T1 lines. SIP trunks can be any bandwidth over fiber as well as copper. Let’s take a closer look at the similarities and differences among SIP Trunks, EoC and T1 lines.
T1 lines are the granddaddy of business telecom digital lines. They run at a fixed bandwidth of 1.5 Mbps. Fractional T1 lines have been sold, but you don’t see these as much any more. In fact, 1.5 Mbps is considered entry level for most businesses. If you need or want more bandwidth, you can bond multiple T1 lines together to get bandwidths from 3 to 12 Mbps.
T1 lines also come in different flavors. T1 point to point service connects two business locations with a private line. Some companies set up their own multi-location networks by connecting each branch location to headquarters with one or more T1 lines. A router at HQ then directs communications among all the sites.
T1 dedicated Internet service is a T1 line that connects to the Internet at 1.5 Mbps. Lots of companies got their first Internet service via a single T1 line. The advantage of using T1 for this is that your upload and download bandwidths are the same and the bandwidth never varies. You may still experience congestion on the Internet itself.
T1 telephone service uses a single T1 line channelized into 24 separate phone lines. It replaces multiple analog lines for key telephone and PBX phone systems. Each line is responsible for signaling and two-way audio. A newer variation on T1 telephone is ISDN PRI. This is a T1 line that offers 23 channels plus a separate control and signaling channel that handles these jobs for the other 23. The result is faster call setup and tear down plus the inclusion of data like Caller ID.
Ethernet over Copper (EoC) is similar to T1 in that it uses ordinary copper pairs that may previously carried analog business phone service. The differences are that EoC can carry much higher bandwidths than T1 or bonded T1 from 3 Mbps on up to 45 Mbps or higher. The tradeoff is that you need to be close to the telco office to get the higher speeds. If you can, EoC will give you at least twice the bandwidth for the same money as T1 and bonded T1. You can order it as a private point to point connection or a dedicated Internet service.
SIP Trunking is a slight different animal. The primary purpose of a SIP Trunk is to transport VoIP phone calls between your location and your service provider’s. Most often, lower speed SIP Trunks are partitioned to carry both phone conversations and broadband Internet. Class of Service (CoS) is tagged to telephone and data packets so that they don’t interfere. SIP Trunking can be a cost saver over separate data and telephone services.
Which digital line service is right for your company? Compare bandwidth, features and prices on SIP Trunks, Ethernet over Copper and T1 lines available for your business location.