What is VoIP and how does it work
VoIP or ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ uses the internet to send phone calls. Your voice is converted to digital data and sent over the internet to the recipient in real time. It’s extremely important to make sure you have the right internet connectivity in place before thinking about the switch to VoIP. If you’re broadband isn’t efficient enough yur VoIP will not work as well as it can.
Is VoIP any different to traditional comms?
With VoIP you can call any landline or mobile number from a VoIP phone in the same way you would use a traditional analogue or digital phone and in turn anyone can call you.
Key points for business broadband and VoIP
How many people do you have in your business who use a telephone as part of their everyday job?
This will be the number that is used in various options as the multiplier. It will determine how many IP phones you need, how many ethernet points in your office, how many switches in your local area network. In this scenario we will take 10 as that number..
What level of internet connectivity do you have and will you need?
Connectivity comes in various sizes and costs. We have tried to put the various options available to you in order of costs based on the current UK market.
The thing that must be recognised and understood with the lesser costing connectivity options is that they are all based on UP TO speed options. This means that the location of your business in relation to the local telephone exchange makes a difference to the speed of connection that your business will obtain. You can check your current speed using tools like speedtest.net but to get a really accurate reading, be sure that the device you run the test from is connected directly (not wireless) to your internet router and nothing else on the network is.
What do you use the internet for in your business?
This is another vitally important question to understand. All of your online activity in your business takes a part of your internet connection and uses it. Some things use a constant rate of data, some things only use the internet when they need to and some things are hungrier to use up your connection than others. In today’s world we use the internet more and more – increasingly utilising cloud-based technologies. These all want a part of your internet connection and the more users that are using these services the less there is to spread around.
How many users can you get onto each connection type?
It’s important to understand what level of connectivity you have currently and what you will need moving forward. As a general rule of thumb we would suggest allowing approximately 80-100Kbps per call. The table below gives a suggestion to the level of concurrent calls each type of connection can handle.
VoIP is the solution that business is now looking to, to provide the communications infrastructure for the 21st century. Traditional communications platforms still have a place but they are becoming less relevant in today’s markets.
If VoIP/hosted telephony is not the solution you move to immediately it should be one your horizon. Your business should analyse what the demands will be upon it both now and in the near future.
Once you have understood your needs, then chances are that VoIP/hosted telephony will give the best return on investment both in terms of infrastructure but more importantly efficiency and longevity.