When dealing with VoIP, it will either be a small or large cost depending on the size of your company. You must have a broadband connection and the bandwidth needed will vary depending on how many simultaneous users you plan to have. If you have a small number of employees, then you won’t need to worry about this as much.
Large companies that require simultaneous connections will need to make sure the routers and switches are up to the job and can handle the load required to make seamless VoIP calls. You should be using a router that has a configurable QOS (quality of service) settings and to maximize quality.
If your Internet Service Provider has a cap on the amount of bandwidth you can use then, you will need to take this into consideration as well. Most well known VoIP providers will use a G.711 codec for high-quality VoIP communications which will use 64kb of data every second. Remember to monitor your data usage, so you don’t exceed your bandwidth cap, but usually, a large number of people can use VoIP without having to worry about hitting these limits.
If you plan on using a cloud-based VoIP service that is hosted, then you will need to check that your phones can use VoIP. Nearly all VoIP system use session-initiation protocol to assign a specific address for each phone or VoIP software client. This means you will need an SIP-enabled a phone to make VoIP calls. You can see use your old analog phones or fax machines, but you will need an ATA (analog telephone adapter). The issue is that they will not be able to use most of the features that SIP VoIP phones provide.
VoIP is very low cost compared to traditional phone services which are attractive to businesses. It’s also worth noting that you will have less hardware to buy or rent and if using a hosted cloud service then you won’t need to invest in any equipment. Hardware for VoIP is standardized (SIP) whereas more traditional producers are typically ties to your service provider. Usually, with conventional methods, you are linked into a lengthy contract whereas VoIP’s tend to be contract free.
A drawback of VoIP is your broadband service. If this fails so does your VoIP access. Hosted solutions try to bypass this by sending incoming calls to voicemail or redirecting calls to your mobile phone (if your hosted service supports this). While is this may be ok it’s important to remember that in the event of no internet access you will not be able to make or receive calls from your office.
While VoIP is considered better compared to landline or mobile phones connections, the speed, and quality of your broadband service will ultimately affect your VoIP quality. If your broadband is slow, has any traffic shaping or is not good then audio quality can suffer or worse you may experience more drop outs.
If your broadband is unreliable, then you may want to switch providers or invest in dedicated business broadband which offers faster response times to issues than residential services.
Switching from PSTN to VoIP has many advantages and businesses have a broad range of options for doing so.