Businesses are migrating from traditional copper-wire telephone systems to VoIP systems to reduce their monthly phone costs because of the bandwidth efficiency and low costs of VoIP technology. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a technology that transforms audio signals into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet. It is a technology that is revolutionising the world’s phone systems.
VoIP is basically an ingenious reinvention of existing technology adapted to the Internet in three main ways. The simplest and most common way is through the use of a device called an ATA (analog telephone adaptor) which allows you to connect a standard phone to a computer or the Internet connection for use with VoIP. A second way is by using an IP phone which can be connected directly to a router and have all the hardware and software necessary onboard to handle the IP call. Wi-Fi phones allow subscribing callers to make VoIP calls from any Wi-Fi hotspot. Computer-to-computer connects are considered the easiest way to use VoIP with no payment needed for long-distance calls. You will need the software, a microphone, speakers, a sound card and an Internet connection.
VoIP technologies can deliver calls that are as clear and responsive as a traditional telephone service (POTS) calls. As VoIP equipment is becoming more mainstream, it is also more affordable and thus appeals to many small companies, specifically those looking at replacing their analog telephone services.
A potential problem with adopting VoIP, is the ability of the network to handle voice traffic. Because audio waves are translated into packets and transferred over a business’ IP network and then to the Internet, low-end networking equipment may cause ‘jitter’ or broken speech. Jitter is the result of a network not being able to transfer all of the voice packets simultaneously. In the following paragraphs we offer five ways to ensure higher quality VoIP service.
- Focus on business-class VoIP service providers
The market offers several hosted voice providers aiming to serve every type of customer including niche providers that cater to the needs of small businesses. It is important to focus on VoIP providers that have voice solutions custom-made to meet the needs of smaller companies. Be cautious not to select an inexpensive, consumer-grade VoIP service that tend to lack business features. They may lack features such as auto attendant and smartphone applications, and their voice networks can be less reliable than those of business-class VoIP service providers. Hence, the service provider’s network determines the quality of the service offered.