One drawback that VoIP services have to overcome is the perception that they don’t provide adequate E911 access. The issue is exacerbated by the nomadic nature of IP voice services, where customers can move physical locations and still use the same phone number and device for voice calling. Microsoft and Level 3 hope to address this, particularly with enterprise unified communications.

The two companies are collaborating to develop an E911 solution to work across Microsoft’s Lync Unified Communications platform. Level 3 is providing a SIP trunking solution which integrates with Lync, allowing “… a user’s location to be provided at the time of the emergency call, enabling routing to the appropriate first responders, compared to alternative nomadic 911 solutions which can only provide pre-registered locations.”

“Enterprises expect their 911 voice services to connect them with the appropriate emergency contacts,” said Warren Barkley, general manager, Microsoft Lync in a Level 3 press release. “Microsoft Lync is able to offer enterprises the benefits of a unified communications deployment with an easy-to-manage, dynamic and reliable 911 routing solution through Level 3, even as workers change locations.”

The solution highlights one of the many advantages SIP trunking, which acts as a bridge between IP enabled networks and the PSTN, brings to the marketplace. Companies can use SIP trunking to eliminate/reduce traditional PSTN circuits, using data connections for their voice and data services. The role of SIP trunking takes on heightened awareness these days, given the discussion and debate concerning the future of the PSTN.


Image courtesy of flickr user VoIPman.

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