Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), often known as IP telephony, is a method and set of technologies for delivering voice conversations and multimedia contents over IP networks like the Internet.
Users may make voice calls using VoIP via their computers, smartphones, other mobile devices, special VoIP phones, and WebRTC-enabled browsers.
VoIP is a technology that is beneficial to both individuals and companies since it generally provides additional capabilities not seen on traditional phone systems. Incoming and outgoing calls can also be routed over existing telephone networks using VoIP. Some VoIP services, on the other hand, can only operate with a computer or a VoIP phone.
How does VoIP work?
The operation of a VoIP phone is identical to that of a normal phone, except that VoIP relies on an internet connection rather than telephone company wiring.
VoIP is made possible by a set of technologies and techniques that allow voice communications to be delivered via the internet, such as enterprise local area networks or wide area networks.
Instead of being transferred over a circuit-switched network, the digital data is packetised and sent over a packet-switched network as IP packets. They send media streams using specific media delivery protocols that use audio and video codecs to encode audio and video.
There are a variety of codecs that optimise the media stream based on application needs and network capacity; some use narrowband and compressed speech, while others provide high-fidelity stereo codecs. Because VoIP uses packets, you may send a lot more data over the network to support and meet communication needs.
Where are VoIPs Used?
VoIPs are very versatile in their usage.
At the beginning only major companies invested in VoIPs and used it for their day to day running. But overtime people have come to see its several advantages which includes, its cost-saving ability, flexibility and portability amongst others. These are some of the most common users of VoIP:
Employers, workers, and clients all interact differently now thanks to VoIP.
It’s cost-effective, expandable, and excellent for working remotely. Virtual collaborations are possible with VoIP because of real-time video conferencing.
They can communicate with consumers and clients to ensure that transactions are completed without disturbance.
Also, VoIP is compatible with many mobile apps. It works with most mobile apps, allowing for more natural communication, there is therefore no need to stay in one location simply to attend a teleconference or virtual meeting. Anyone can be anywhere and yet do their daily tasks.
Medium to large scale businesses are also part of the VoIP wave. Apart from the allure of cost savings over traditional landline communication systems. VoIPs also have the added advantage of scalability which is a big point of attraction for Enterprise clients.
Businesses wanting to expand their operations may find that traditional communication infrastructure is a barrier. This is due to the fact that doing so necessitates the expenditure of funds, space, and personnel. On the flipside, because VoIP is wireless, it takes up less space.
You’ll never have to be concerned about having a specialized communications center to handle call routing. This is generally done in the cloud, which allows you to use both physical and virtual space to develop your business as much as you like.
Many businesses are already reaping the benefits of a mobile and remote work environment. Although working from home may appear to be a dangerous proposition, making the most of your VoIP technology can keep your staff happy and productive. Some features of VoIP that makes it great for home working are:
- Voicemail – logs missed calls and emails the audio file to you.
- Call forwarding – enables your staff to transfer calls between VoIP devices and smartphones.
- Whisper, monitor, and barge – allows you to listen in on calls for quality assurance and even train workers without disturbing the conversation.
- Third-party connectors — when working together on platforms like Office 365, simplify procedures and allow workers to provide immediate feedback.
Disadvantages of VoIP and their Solutions
Despite its numerous advantages, VoIP systems have a few drawbacks. These limitations are solvable and any organization looking to switch should be well aware of them.
Internet use limitation
When opposed to traditional lines, the primary disadvantage of VoIP is that it is completely reliant on the quality of your broadband connection. If you don’t have access to the internet, you won’t be able to use VoIP.
Luckily, VoIP does not consume nearly as much bandwidth as you would think. It’s critical that VoIP devices on your network have minimal latency. Each device should have a minimum upload speed of 100 kbps. Ping and jitter, which evaluate the latency and stability of your internet connection, should be less than 70ms on a good connection.
- First and foremost, get a dependable internet service provider. Because so many operational activities now rely on the internet, it’s an expenditure you shouldn’t spare on in the first place.
- If at all feasible, set up a separate internet network just for VoIP, so it doesn’t compete for bandwidth with other online-based business operations.
- Use QoS routers to prioritize VoIP communications above other internet-related activities such as downloading and streaming.
Limitation in location tracking
One of the benefits of VoIP is that you can get a local number in any state with any area code, even if you don’t have a physical location. As a result, you’ll be able to build a virtual presence from anywhere. The difficulty is that emergency personnel frequently use your phone number to locate you during an emergency. Because your phone number and physical location may not match, emergency responders may have difficulty locating you when you need them.
This is when an e911 emergency address comes in handy. This enables companies and consumers to modify the physical address associated with a digital VoIP connection. 911 responders will use the same address to track down the origin of a VoIP call. This function is available to consumers of the finest VoIP companies.
Latency and jitter issues
When interacting online, each communication (email, video, or audio) is split down into “data packets,” which are little pieces of data. The original message is then reconstructed from these packets at their intended destination. Latency and jitter occur when data packets experience delays in transmission or are reassembled incorrectly. It’s possible that the problem isn’t with your network; large internet backbones alter data paths to ensure that traffic is delivered consistently and on the shortest way to its destination.
- Set up jitter buffering – This is simple to do and comes pre-installed on many VoIP devices.
- Choose high-speed Internet – Check with your internet provider to see what bandwidth alternatives are available.
- Upgrade your ethernet cables – On all VoIP devices, use a CAT-5e or CAT-6 Ethernet cable.
Because the internet is a public network, data can be intercepted while it is being sent. During VoIP calls, this includes voice data. The threat of a breach of private phone communications is extremely serious and should not be overlooked.
Fortunately, as you learn more about VoIP service providers and how they may benefit businesses, you’ll realize that the best firms use security measures to secure your voice data during VoIP calls. This incorporates high-level encryption for end-to-end communication. Use VoIP service providers who have the following credentials or certifications:
- Cyber Essentials
- Privacy Shield Framework
Is Voip right for your business?
With VoIP, you can contact consumers all over the world, enhance call quality, and save money. It’s no surprise that it’s quickly becoming the communications technology of choice for enterprises all around the world. Even though it has certain drawbacks, the benefits of VoIP greatly exceed the drawbacks.
The drawbacks are not deal breakers in and of themselves, since there are solutions for the difficulties that ensure they do not become major concerns. And if you have any questions or concerns, our experts are always on call to help you out.
If you’re wondering if your organisation should switch to VoIP, the answer is a resounding YES.
According to the study, moving to VoIP rather than continuing to use a traditional phone system saves money for the majority of businesses. If your organisation makes international phone calls on a regular basis, the savings will be even greater than they are otherwise. For businesses, using a VoIP system to make international calls is more competitive and cost-effective than using traditional phone systems to make those calls. It is important to evaluate a variety of factors, including the capacity of your network and the number of employees, but you may no longer be required to pay long-distance and other expenses.
Contact Berry Telecoms if you’re interested in learning more about how VoIP may help you save time and money in your business. Allow us to take care of your phone connections so that you can concentrate on running your organisation.