What is VoIP?

Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is a type of phone system that uses an internet connection to make and receive calls, rather than traditional landlines. 
Most people consider VoIP the alternative to the local telephone company. If you have an internet connection, you can call anyone without the need for traditional, local phone service or physical copper wires. All you need is high-speed internet and a VoIP service provider to handle the calls. The best part is that you aren’t bound to a specific desk. You can use a VoIP phone number via a business phone app to turn your computer or any mobile device into a phone.

A trusted VoIP provider can handle everything for you. Plug your IP phone in, and you’re done. These digital phones use your high-speed internet connection to establish connectivity.

VoIP converts your phone calls into data that is sent over the internet. You can use the Ethernet cables or skip them if you have a strong Wi-Fi signal. It does so at a much lower cost than older telephone systems. Voice over IP has many advantages over traditional phone service.

What is the difference between VoIP and landline phones?

The main difference between VoIP phones and landline phones is that a landline phone is hardwired into a physical location using copper wires.  A VoIP phone, on the other hand, makes and receives calls over the internet and is not bound to a specific location. 

Traditional telephones use analog lines to carry voice signals. If you want to make calls, you have to have extra wiring installed.

How Does VoIP Work?

As mentioned above, VoIP basically works by converting analog telephone signals into digital signals to facilitate telephony over the Internet. Now let’s dive a little deeper into detail into the process.

SIP Protocol and SIP Trunking

Voice over IP works by using protocol technologies and SIP is one protocol that enables VoIP. Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a communication protocol for VoIP calls and other text and multimedia sessions, such as instant messaging and video. SIP trunking, based on the SIP protocol, is basically a service established virtually over your internet connections and provided by Internet Telephony Service Providers (ITSP), eliminating the physical connection to a phone company.

Equipment You May Need in order to use VoIP

VoIP phone systems (PBX)

A VoIP PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is a business telephone system that facilitates phone calls over the company’s LAN or WAN data network rather than through the circuit-switched networks.

VoIP PBX is available in two deployment options – on-premises and cloud-based. With an on-premises voice solution, the hardware is installed and runs on-site at your office or data center while a cloud PBX system is delivered entirely over the Internet and managed completely off-site by a service provider.

VoIP phones or IP phones

VoIP phones, or IP phones, are the physical office phones that you can use with a VoIP phone system. Visually, they do not differ much from the traditional, stationary phones you find at your home or on your work desk. Because of this, it’s quite easy for employees to adjust to newer VoIP phones. The one fundamental difference is that they are internet-enabled, whether via WiFi or Ethernet. They are assigned IP addresses to facilitate calls over your network.

Mobile phones, computers, network-ready devices

In addition to IP phones, you can also access VoIP phone systems using your own mobile device, computer, and other network-ready devices with VoIP apps or softphone application installed. Today you can make and receive business phone calls anytime, anywhere using your own Internet-connected devices, without worrying about losing VoIP call quality. Employees are no longer tied to a desk phone and may use any device of their choice.

VoIP gateways

A VoIP gateway is a hardware device that converts traditional telephony traffic (analog or digital) into packets of data, allowing connections between legacy telephony

https://www.nextiva.com/blog/what-is-voip.htmlinfrastructure and IP-based communications, acting as a bridge between an IP network, the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), and the cellular network.


What Are the Benefits of VoIP?

Modern businesses enjoy using VoIP phone service over traditional telephone lines because they can get a lot more value than just improving corporate communications. Below are a few of the many ways VoIP benefits businesses.

1. Cost Savings

VoIP is a budget-friendly way to set up a business communications system. VoIP services could be based on a direct IP connection to your phone service provider, simply on your existing internet connection, or a combination of both. Therefore, it cuts down the cost of internal calls in your organization to virtually none, greatly reduces the expenses of external and international business calls, saving a significant amount of investments on purchasing traditional phone lines, installation, and ongoing maintenance.

On-premises and cloud-based VoIP systems are both cost-effective but do have some differences in terms of the cost. Though you need to pay fully upfront for an op-premises system, it protects you from the risk of fee increases and means lower monthly cost after expenses are covered. As for the cloud-based hosted VoIP services, you usually go with an OpEx model with more affordable monthly or annual fees and low initial equipment cost.

If your voice and data solutions are currently separate, you can save money by combining the two under one provider. In addition to the cost savings, you’ll also be able to consolidate both internet service and telephony support.

2. Easy to Install

Comparing to traditional phone systems, the installation and configuration of VoIP systems could be super easy. Traditionally, with a landline system, office phones require physical lines to receive phone service. VoIP phone systems eliminate the need to install any physical phone lines. All you need to do is to connect IP phones to the corporate network via Ethernet lines.

Better yet, if you need your IT staff to prioritize more important and revenue-generating projects instead of managing the phone system, hosted phone services leave the work to the service provider and there is no need to worry about any network issues. It would be beneficial for small businesses and start-ups lacking in technical expertise or resources, too.

3. Clear Voice Quality

When Voice over IP was first introduced, its call quality was indeed unsatisfactory. Long gone are those days thanks to the advancement of broadband and Voice over Internet Protocol technology itself. The “poor call quality” is probably the biggest misconception about VoIP now.

Rest assured as long as you have a fast and stable Internet connection. Most VoIP providers offer a vast number of different protocols and codecs to ensure HD sound quality. With a robust solution and proper implementation, the voice quality of VoIP can be as good or even better than the landline-based calls. You can’t even tell the difference.

5. Mobility & Geographical Flexibility

VoIP enables businesses to extend their communications system to remote offices and on-the-go workers over SIP-enabled devices. For remote workers, the office is wherever they make it as long as the Internet connection is available.

The deployment of a multi-site VoIP system can not only keep all dispersed branches connected seamlessly but also reduces the spiraling inter-office call costs. Softphones enable employees to make their office extensions mobile with a wide range of call handling features at hand. Additionally, cloud phone systems make it easy to connect geographically dispersed offices under one phone system and the IT admin can easily manage it from any location.


5. Scalability

Scalability, as one of the most valuable characteristics for businesses, refers to the ability of a system to handle a growing amount of workload, normally by adding resources to the system, without affecting its overall performance or efficiency.

VoIP is a scalable solution that can grow with your business, especially the cloud-based VoIP service, which offers greater flexibility for businesses with staff growth or reduction. The increase and decrease of phone extensions can be made immediately and businesses only pay for what they need, without purchasing additional hardware equipment or new dedicated lines. It can all be done, practically in real-time. If you are a seasonal business with fluctuating communications needs or experiencing rapid growth, a hosted model can be a perfect fit for you.

6. Abundance of Features

VoIP services deliver a number of features that are either not supported by traditional telephone systems or only available for an additional fee. These features are more than ‘extras’. Many businesses have found it easy to use VoIP and became more competitive with the full suite of built-in features. Some features may help companies meet important safety and security needs, including the ability to connect with emergency services while using internet VoIP.

Below is a list of must-have VoIP features that will boost your business communication efficiency:

·        Call Forwarding

When the called party is unavailable, Call Forwarding helps redirect incoming calls to another desired destination, such as the mobile phone number or other telephone numbers. You can also set up different rules for various scenarios. For example, automatically forward phone calls to another extension when you are busy, ring your mobile phone when no one answers calls to your desk phone, and ask callers to leave voice messages when you are on vacation. Sales personnel and field staff especially no longer need to worry about being away from their desks.

·        Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

IVR helps even small businesses offer 24/7 customer services without costly human resources. When customers call in, pre-recorded greetings will direct them to the most appropriate destination with the minimum waiting time. With IVR, you are able to automate customer service, provide satisfactory answers timely, leave a good impression on your customers, and build a professional company image.

·        Ring Group

Include a group of extensions into a ring group so that when a call comes in, all available extensions will ring simultaneously or sequentially up to different ringing strategies you set up. It is very useful in sharing and distributing calls effectively among employees in particular departments. As a result, the overall productivity of your team will be increased and the fastest response to customer calls is guaranteed.

·        Queue

It is a smart move to let an incoming call queue up while waiting for an available agent. Better than being on hold, going to voicemail, or getting a busy tone, the customer is informed that there is currently no available agent to answer the call, and he or she is queueing right now. It reduces the number of missed calls as well as the negative effect of busy signals on customer experience. By segmenting agents into several queues, you can even provide different service levels for different customer groups.

·        Music on Hold

Phone calls may be put on hold sometimes, such as the intervals while you transfer a call to another number, or the waiting time when people participate in a conference call, or Nobody likes awkward silences, so just upload some audio files and customize the on-hold music to please your customers and enhance your corporate image.

·        Call Recording

VoIP phone systems can be set up to automatically detect and record every phone conversation made over the system, including inbound and outbound calls. Businesses usually leverage call recordings as training or coaching tool, to help resolve disputes, for the purpose of review and confirmation, for compliance with their regulations, and to track whether or not customers are satisfied. VoIP technology makes them all simplified.



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