Voice over Internet Protocol
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a general term for a family of transmission technologies for delivery of voice communications over IP networks such as the Internet or other packet-switched networks. Other terms frequently encountered and synonymous with VoIP are IP telephony, Internet telephony, voice over broadband (VoBB), broadband telephony, and broadband phone.
Internet telephony refers to communications services — voice, facsimile, and/or voice-messaging applications — that are transported via the Internet, rather than the public switched telephone network (PSTN). The basic steps involved in originating an Internet telephone call are conversion of the analog voice signal to digital format and compression/translation of the signal into Internet protocol (IP) packets for transmission over the Internet; the process is reversed at the receiving end.
VoIP systems employ session control protocols to control the set-up and tear-down of calls as well as audio codecs which encode speech allowing transmission over an IP network as digital audio via an audio stream. Codec use is varied between different implementations of VoIP (and often a range of codecs are used); some implementations rely on narrowband and compressed speech, while others support high fidelity stereo codecs.
Phone System Technology – Business VoIP
In this article we’ll discuss new business phone system technology solutions built around VoIP and advantages for New Jersey businesses. We’ll focus on two popular solutions in particular: hosted phone solutions and traditional IP PBX phone systems.
A Hosted Phone System is very attractive in the right environment. You’re only responsibility is buying or renting the individual phones. The “soft switch” is hosted off site. This seems to have the most economic impact under 20 users. It can bring a lot of features and flexibility without adding additional costs. You’re getting large phone system features at a fraction of the cost. It’s truly a win-win in the right setting.
An IP PBX Phone System is more of a traditional model, the same concept but very different in its architecture. It’s now a server in the rack. Most companies are already accustomed to buying, leasing or renting their phone system. You’re on the hook and responsible for system maintenance and software upgrades. Software upgrades are a new concept we need to accept with the IP based PBX. It’s typically more of an initial investment, although new designs with targeted solutions can be cost justified quickly with the correct implementation as its feature rich design offers many “inside the box” attributes. In most cases this type of solution makes the most sense in an environment over 20 users.
Cost Savings – New phone system technology offers the ability to utilize VoIP lines/trunks. By switching from traditional analog phone lines to VoIP, or commonly known as SIP trunks, businesses can see immediate savings. SIP trunks are delivered through the internet. Most of these calling plans offer either unlimited calling or enough built in minutes that it’s a cost effective change. SIP trunks also offer features that analog trunks don’t.
Flexibility – Whether it’s a hosted phone solution or a traditional IP PBX phone system, both give businesses the flexibility to grow their organizations beyond the boundaries of standard technology. Adding remote employees is cost effective, the ability to activate inbound and outbound calling features via the web along with the use of desktop interfaces all add to the attractive nature of new technology.
Disaster Recovery – SIP trunks offer a dynamic disaster recovery feature that is very costly in a traditional phone system model. You’re now able to quickly and easily redirect calls from a web portal in the event of a power or system failure.
Phone System Manufacturers offer similar features however some deliver these features better than others. Obviously a system that’s reliable, easy to maintain, easy to use and easy to make changes to would be highly rated by both the end user and the vendor. Current research and development is focused on these VoIP offerings. Very little attention is placed on the standard phone systems as technology feeds itself and kicks into high gear.
Requirements – The main requirements for a successful VoIP implementation are related to bandwidth and Quality of Service (QoS). If you’re using the public internet, there are occasional issues that need to be worked out with your internet service provider. Best case would be a managed circuit but it’s not always feasible due to cost control.
Phone system technology is literally staring us in the face. We can choose to grab it by the horns and let it help us steer our course or turn our back to it and be bitten by it in the rear.
“This article is brought to you by Gus Woltmann”.