How to Migrate to the World of Modern Telephony with VoIP
Posted by Guest Author on March 13, 2014 in VoIP [ 0 Comments ]
Comparing VoIP to traditional landline telephony is perhaps a little unfair, given that the former has a number of key advantages which can make legacy communications technologies look seriously archaic. But for those who are thinking about adopting VoIP in place of an analogue service, understanding the differences, as well as appreciating the few pitfalls of digital platforms, is important.
In the first quarter of 2013 there were over 155 million global VoIP subscribers (Tweet This Stat!), with more growth predicted, according to Point Topic. So what it is that distinguishes VoIP from traditional landline services and is now a good time to migrate to the world of modern telephony?
The VoIP acronym stands for voice over internet protocol, which means that to access this type of service you require a broadband internet connection. For domestic customers and sole traders a standard connection may be adequate, but if you want to run a multi-user VoIP environment in a business then superfast speeds will be desirable.
While an analogue line can support only one voice call at a time, several VoIP conversations can be held using a single broadband connection, providing there is adequate bandwidth available. The use of IP services also means that VoIP benefits from improved audio quality when compared to the often grainy nature of standard landline solutions.
Calls made via traditional landlines will usually be charged on a per minute basis, with geographical variances in price meaning that calling overseas numbers is particularly expensive. But VoIP to VoIP calls are usually free of charge, particularly if you are using popular platforms such as Skype.
This endows VoIP with a serious pricing advantage, ensuring that even if you are calling someone on the other side of the world you will not incur a large bill. The digital nature of VoIP means that it can be integrated with other services, such as video conferencing and instant messaging, creating a unified approach to communications which broadens the possibilities for domestic and business users.
Most VoIP services are still entirely compatible with PSTN landlines, as well as mobile devices, which means you can make a call to any existing line, such as the BT customer services number, from your preferred VoIP solution.
You may be charged for doing so, but providers are capable of keeping costs lower than you might think, so by migrating to VoIP you not only save money but remain just as contactable as you were before.
If you already have an established internal telephone system, then you might think that upgrading to VoIP will be problematic. But with SIP trunking you can actually account for legacy equipment with relative ease, which means hardware can be retained even after you have upgraded.
Unfortunately the fact that VoIP is reliant on broadband connectivity means that premises which are located in areas with limited speeds may not be ideally positioned to take advantage of this. The rollout of fibre optic connectivity, as well as 4G for mobile VoIP, is gradually helping to address this issue, but those in rural areas may still have to wait some time before adoption is viable.
So in summary, here are the main pros and cons of VoIP which should be used to inform your adoption decision.
• One connection can support multiple users
• Calling costs are free or cheap
• Backwards compatibility with standard landline and mobile numbers is assured
• Connection speeds may limit the availability of VoIP at your premises
Author Bio: Neal Bricker is a writer, journalist and telecoms expert who has occupied many different roles in the industry over the course of his career.