What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. A VoIP system converts your analog voice signals into digital signals and then transmits them as data over your broadband line. You can then place and receive calls via a VoIP service provider. In simple words, VoIP uses the internet for smooth communication and gives you the capability to share your files as well as audios through the line. To help you better understand and compare VoIP to landline so you make an informed decision, here’s an article by Epik Networks.
You can call VoIP in different ways:
- With a special Internet protocol (IP) telephone – There are special telephones for VoIP, this does not require a VoIP adapter, because a cable connects the telephone directly to your internet connection. IP phones are quite expensive and are usually used by companies.
- With a telephone and a VoIP adapter – With a special adapter, the analog telephone adapter (ATA), you can make VoIP calls from your “old-fashioned” landline. You connect your phone to the ATA device, which you connect to your router again.
- With a computer – There are various programs that you can use to call via your computer. You call for free to someone who has the same program installed, or you pay a low amount and you can call someone’s phone line.
- With a smartphone – There are apps that allow you to make free calls to someone who also has the app, or to someone’s telephone line for a low payment.
- Via broadband or home telephone providers – Some broadband and home telephone providers offer VoIP as part of their services.
Quality of VoIP
The quality of the signal may be better than with traditional analog telephony if the underlying digital connection is good. Users of the first hour even found the quality “too good” because the line seemed “dead” due to the lack of noise. To solve this, VoIP telephone systems can use ‘Comfort Noise’, a system that does nothing but add a slight noise to the signal at the end-user.
Cabling of VoIP
The “signal quality” is different from “call quality”. The “call quality” is determined by the method by which the sound is digitized and coded. A piece of software or hardware that implements this function is called a codec (in this case: speech codec). Some codecs code so efficiently that very little bandwidth is required, but the sound quality (call quality) is, therefore, less, and for example comparable to mobile telephony (mobile phone).
Cost Reduction with VoIP for Businesses
Companies with multiple locations can use IP telephony to make optimal use of fixed connections between locations by using the same bandwidth for voice traffic and data traffic. That provides a cost-benefit. Because existing data connections can be used, the price is usually lower than via a traditional telephone connection. This is very interesting for international calls, or for calls between different locations of a company.
How VoIP Works for Companies?
VoIP technology transports speech through packet-switched protocols, instead of the old fashioned use of electromagnetic wave movements to transport voice sounds (PSTN). The packet-switched protocols (digital blocks) imitate the movements of speech waves. These small digital blocks get different labels, which you can compare to envelopes.
These labels are the shipping address and destination, so the packages can find their way to the destination. This system has two major benefits; a lot more information can be sent over the same infrastructure and if one of the lines malfunctions, the information can be sent via another route.
Downside of VoIP
Telephones that use Voice over IP often need their own power supply (adapter). Traditional analog devices do not need these, because the telephone signal and the power are supplied over the telephone line. This makes Voice over IP devices less suitable for alarm lines. Most VoIP hardware is now suitable for Power over Ethernet (PoE). The network cable is used as a power supply. In such a case, the network equipment must also support PoE, which affects the price.
Also with a view to being location independent, additional measures must be taken if the telephone exchange is not in the same physical location as the device. For example, when calling the area-code-less national emergency number, the emergency center in the country and region of the device must be called, not the emergency center in the region of the telephone center. Modern IP telephone exchanges offer the possibility to send an alternative sender number (caller ID) or region code when calling the emergency number.
The Benefits of VoIP
There are many benefits of VoIP calling for companies. It is cheaper than analog and ISDN telephony. This is mainly because a physical telephone line is no longer needed. Everything now goes through an internet connection. Another advantage is the quality of the speech. HD calling is possible with VoIP. With such a high-quality connection it is as if someone is standing next to you, so clear.
With ISDN telephony you need a telephone exchange to be able to connect multiple telephones. The use of, for example, a selection menu or queue is also only possible if a telephone exchange is present. Many VoIP providers offer Hosted VOIP. where professional telephone exchange functions can be used in the cloud.
We have listed a few advantages:
Working from Home VoIP
Another major advantage of calling via the internet is easy working from home. This way you can call anywhere you have internet such as at the office. The home employee simply dials out with the business telephone number and incoming business telephone calls can also be received.
Receive Voicemail by Mail
If you are out of the office and a customer calls the company telephone number, there is the possibility to have a voicemail. The recorded voicemail messages can be mailed. So it is possible to open the mail with your mobile phone and listen to the voicemail message.
Companies can suffice with less cabling. The computer and the VoIP telephone can be connected to one network connection. The telephone then functions as a mini switch: you plug the network cable that is now in the computer into the telephone and from the telephone you connect a cable to your computer.
Switch to Mobile at Specific Times
Forwarding your company telephone number to your mobile phone is not a very special function in itself. This is also possible with ISDN and analog telephony. But with VoIP, it is possible to set a timetable. For example, calls are only forwarded between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Another transfer can take place outside of these times. Find out more at De Nederlandse Provider.