session border controller

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I am playing around the idea of setting up an asterisk box on the public domain.
This box will then be connected to various other sip providers for LCR for low
cost calls.
It was recommened that I use a SBC.  I never used SBC. From what I understand
it can help with different aspect when it comes to SIP communication such as
and billing.
Is SBC really necessary? If so what would be the ideal configuration?