VOIP Telephone Systems vary widely in respect of feature set, standard benefits, device connectivity and cabling requirements; however all require certain fundamentals to ensure reliability. VOIP systems or IP PBX offer businesses incredible flexibility when it comes to communications. Now where ever you are in the world, wherever you have an internet connection, a softphone on your Laptop or Smartphone app (Iphone, ANDROID, Windows Mobile or Blackberry) now provide you with seamless communication with your office team members, but also when working abroad, low cost access to your office phone lines for calls to Irish numbers.
VOIP gives you;
- Mobility – using remote desk phones, softphone’s and smart phone apps, you can be anywhere in the world and still be connected to your office phone system
- Low cost telephone calls – While also using traditional lines, VOIP systems can also use SIP lines to communicate with the outside world and avail of cheaper call rates and also avoid paying costly line rental.
- Non Geographic location - unlike regular phone line providers, you can take your phone number anywhere with VOIP systems.
- Web based management – programming changes by user can be done from anywhere.
- Connectivity – most VOIP systems can be connected to other brand VOIP systems remotely.
- Full PBX functionality – VOIP systems have all the traditional functions and features of standard telephone systems
- Unified Communications – because VOIP systems are connected across your IT network, they have the ability to integrate with your CRM or Outlook software packages for better communication with your customers.
- Scale ability – traditional telephone systems always had a final capacity but because of the way VOIP systems are structured, they can be upgraded more easily without the need to replace your system completely.
A true VOIP system differs from legacy digital and analogue telephone systems, each connection whether it to be to a phone, fax machine, ISDN Line, Analogue line, is connected via IP. Another misnomer, is that by deploying an IP PBX or VOIP system, that the business now works solely with IP Telephone Lines or SIP Trunks as they are sometimes called. This may be the case with some vendors, but the vast majority, including -Ericsson LG offer connectivity for legacy standards such as ISDN and PSTN in conjunction with SIP or IP Lines.
This solution can provide a business with a great redundancy option, where the legacy lines can provide back up to the IP Lines and vice versa.
When you have a couple of locations that operate in your business, VOIP systems really come into their own. Whether it’s transferring calls from one office to another with one easy click, or handling all incoming calls for each office from one location, VOIP has been proven to increase the productivity and efficiencies within your team.
Issues surrounding VOIP
Many have a misconception that all that VOIP (Voice over Internet protocol) is cheap phone calls over the Internet, but that is a huge generalization.
First of all, we’ll get some of the jargon and technical stuff out of the way.
IP (Internet Protocol) does not just mean the Internet, and Voice over IP likewise does not just mean Internet Telephony.
IP and VOIP can be also used on private networks, for instance 2 computers sharing files can do so by using IP, this can be done without ever being connected to the Internet, likewise 2 IP Phones connected on the same network can talk to each other without ever being connected to the internet.
VoIP converts voice data into a digital signal and travels over the Internet and/or over a private IP network. The digital signals are converted to the appropriate data signal for a landline or mobile phone recipients.
VOIP can also be deployed over a VPN (Virtual Private Network), or as most widely assumed, VOIP can be used over the Public Internet.
VOIP is Voice signal or communication transported over a data or computer network.
So VOIP does not need to be transmitted over the Internet to be deemed a VOIP Call. Two IP Phones connected on a network, talking to each other are communicating like a standard pc workstation accessing files on a local server.
VOIP Call Quality
VOIP Call Quality when deployed over the Internet can be effected by the quality of your broadband connection.
You will hear QOS (Quality of Service) mentioned in relation to ensuring voice quality is optimized. Voice Over IP is transmitted using a protocol called Real Time Protocol (RTP), means that voice packets need to be sent and received in order, as jumbled voice is of no use. Data packets can be sent again and again if for some reason they are delayed, lost or queued, not so with voice.
By deploying end to end QOS, means that Voice traffic can be prioritised across the network, allowing for reliable voice quality.
Small and Medium offices when using IP Lines, generally require a dedicated broadband circuit to ensure their voice quality is as reliable as possible.