Having a suitable phone system is one of the key components of running a successful business, so you need to ensure you find a solution that can fulfil your unique needs. One option that has been available for over 20 years is VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). Though it is not new, it is continuing to be an increasingly popular choice for business’s telephony solutions in 2019 and beyond.
Although technology is constantly evolving to allow for new telecoms solutions to be offered, VOIP is one that has stood the test of time – and for very good reason. It can provide your business with great flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use, amongst other benefits. This is because VOIP uses your existing broadband or internet solution.
Another benefit of VOIP is that because it runs off an internet connection, it reduces downtime and a potential loss of business that can be caused by this event. However, this means that it is vital for your company to have a good quality connection for this technology to run smoothly.
VOIP operates similarly to a landline, offering all the same benefits and more. However, unlike landline telephones (which use copper wires), VOIP handsets use the same internet connection as your laptops and desktop computers. This is achieved by the handsets taking analogue voice signals from calls, and converting them into digital signals. These are then sent over your business’s broadband line as data.
There are a few ways you can start using VOIP in your office. These include using your smartphone or computer (through applications such as Skype and Apple FaceTime), a ‘traditional’ telephone handset and a VOIP adapter, or a VOIP phone to make and receive calls.
The main benefit of VOIP is that you can plug in your phone and start making calls instantly. This means that you and your employees can work from different locations. With remote working now one of the most popular and sought-after employee benefits, being able to offer this perk is very advantageous.
Another key selling point of VOIP is that it offers higher quality audio than traditional wired telephone systems. However, having a low quality internet connection, high usage levels and network congestion can all reduce the quality of your telephone calls.
To avoid such issues, you need to ensure that your premises have sufficient bandwidth. However, the amount you need will depend on the volume of phone calls you need the system to be able to handle. The average VOIP call will require 85 kbps of bandwidth (or 0.085 Mbps), meaning your internet should have a 10 Mbps upload speed to support 22 VOIP lines comfortably.
Additionally, having the same upload and download speeds will give you a better quality for VOIP calls as this means you have a synonymous connection. Your download speed affects the quality of the call on your end, while your upload speed affects whether the caller on the other end of the line is able to hear you. Thus, both speeds are important for VOIP.
When it comes to any aspect of your telecoms, choosing the right service provider is vital. They should provide you with an SLA (Service Level Agreement) as standard. This is a guarantee that your business will receive an adequate level of service. It outlines the performance characteristics of the service, so you can easily compare it to other offerings.
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