Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – What You Need To Know

As defined by Wikipedia, VoIP is the general term used for a family of transmission technologies for the delivery of voice communications over internet protocol networks. Internet telephony encompasses communications services such as: voice, facsimile and voice messaging applications that are transmitted via the internet.

One of the most important considerations when researching VoIP as your telecommunication’s solution is “bandwidth.” The functionality of VoIP phones is dependent on your internet connection and bandwidth is the capability to transfer data in a given span of time. There are two types of bandwidth. One is the upload bandwidth, which is the quantity of data sent to the internet, and the other is download bandwidth, which is the quantity of data received from the internet. The recommended broadband bandwidth you need varies by the size of your business, specifically the number of phone lines your organization has. Ultimately, bandwidth will determine your sound quality, so it is very important to consult with your phone systems company to make sure you have the right infrastructure in place.

Another consideration when looking into a VoIP solution is Power over Ethernet (PoE). Typically, when locating access points, technicians often use available AC (alternating current) electrical outlets to base decisions on where to install access points. Some organizations only locate access points near AC outlets and within reach of an electrical cord. Or, they'll look for a convenient location to install new outlets at points where it's suitable to run conduit and mount outlet boxes. PoE solves these problems. It is a solution that requires technicians to run only one Ethernet cable to the access point for supplying both power and data. The PoE power sourcing equipment detects the presence of powered devices and supplies applicable current into the data cable. Power over Ethernet, allows businesses to save money, have flexibility and most important this solution is more reliable.

Because a VoIP call is basically a packet of data being transferred via the internet, your call is subject to potential problems such as latency, jitters and errors. Therefore your connection to the internet and the devices used to connect to internet can play a part in reducing or improving your Quality of Service (QoS). In other words, things like having the right amount of bandwidth and implementing Power over Ethernet will provide you with better Quality of Service.

There are many benefits to having a VoIP telecommunications solution. Such as:

• Making telephone calls is easy and inexpensive
• It’s a network that follows you anywhere you go – so you will
never miss a phone call
• Inexpensive call rates
• Value added services, like: conferencing, caller id,
inbound/outbound faxing, voicemail, and find me-follow me, to
name a few
• You can manage your VoIP network from anywhere in the world if
there is a broadband internet connection available

Your customers will benefit too. A VoIP system has features that are found in the most expensive products on the market, such as on-hold music that supports both MP3 and streaming media. And, customers will have shorter wait times because the call queues allow your sales team to monitor the queue while they take incoming calls, so they can shorten the calls if needed.

Of course, when making the decision to go with a VoIP solution you should also consider the following precautions: 1) broadband phones work by the transmission of digital signals using broadband internet connections, so it is always suggested to go for a high quality broadband connection to achieve the best quality with your phone calls, and 2) you should always be ready with a back-up power supply in case of a power outage or internet connection failure as this break down will stop the functioning of broadband phones.

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