VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol, is an enigma for many businesses. There are many flavors of VoIP and many pros and cons that you need to be aware of when considering which service to choose. One goal of this article is to help you decipher through the technospeak so that you can make an informed decision that will save you time and money.
The first thing you need to know about VoIP Service is that it can replace your local phone company. Whether you have just one POTS (plain old telephone service) line or a voice T1 (24 bundled dedicated lines), a VoIP solution is meant to replace your phone company. Instead of using your local phone company's voice connection, VoIP will digitize your voice signal and send it over an internet connection.
In order for your voice to transmit digitally through the internet, you need to be sure you have enough bandwidth to facilitate the communication link. A minimum of a DSL line is required, but most larger companies will want a T1 line - a dedicated link directly to the internet that is guaranteed to be up over 99.999% of the time. Since you will be entrusting all of your business voice communication to this new technology, your connection to the internet becomes the critical link and you don't want to risk a company-wide phone outage to save a few hundred dollars on your bandwidth connection. To help with this DS3-Bandwidth.com has developed software that will allow you to generate a T1 or DS3 price in just seconds.
Once you have your high-speed internet connection taken care of, it's time to select a VoIP Service Provider - the company that will actually route your digitized voice signal to a real telephone on the other end. In essence, your VoIP Carrier will become your long distance carrier. The service providers Business-VoIP-Solution.com work with offer unlimited telephone calls to the United States and Canada, all for one fixed price. That's a good place to start your search. For companies who average more than $40 in local and long distance usage per employee, VoIP is well worth the initial investment.
There are likewise other hidden benefits of VoIP Service, the main benefit being the reduced bandwidth required to conduct a regular telephone conversation. Since a VoIP transmission only requires 32KB of bandwidth, you can fix up to 24 ‘VoIP lines’ on a data T1, and still have 768KB left over for dedicated high-speed internet access! This means that you can migrate your entire phone system on to your existing T1 and still have half of the bandwidth allocated for data.
Other benefit of VoIP lies in the prioritization of the digitized voice signals that are generated when you speak. In the event no one is talking, the VoIP line does not transmit any data. This allows your T1 line to dynamically allocate bandwidth as it is needed, instead of permanently blocking out an entire channel of data.
Lastly, the MAJOR benefit of VoIP telephone systems is that they come with a very rich feature set. Some common features include: Unlimited Minutes, Local Number Porting (LNP), Personalized Voicemail, Unlimited In-Network Calling, Caller ID, Caller ID Blocking, Call Waiting, Call Waiting ID, Call Forwarding, 3-way Conferencing, Call Return *69 activates, Online Management & Billing, Choose Your Own Area Code, *70 Call Waiting Disable, *78/*79 Do Not Disturb, *77/*87 Anonymous Call Blocking, Distinctive Ringing for Virtual Numbers, Virtual Phone Numbers all over the world, Enhanced 911, and Toll Free Services. You just can't get all that service with regular phone service without paying extra fees and surcharges. These features are standard with most business VoIP plans!
Michael is the owner of FreedomFire Communications. . . .including Business-VoIP-Solution and DS3-Bandwidth.com . Michael also authors Broadband Nation where you're always welcome to drop in and catch up on the latest BroadBand news, tips, and insights.