What is VoIP? A Guide to Voice over IP Calling
With the so-called great ISDN and PSTN switch off spelling the end to traditional phone lines in the UK, there’s never been a better time to upgrade your outdated hard phones to VoIP. But what is it? And how will it benefit your business?
If you run a business, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the ever-changing digital landscape. In saying that, if you hope to benefit from business continuity, maximise your profits and nurture growth within your organisation it is absolutely paramount your digital assets and IT infrastructure are kept up to date. Your telephones are no different, and with the end to traditional phone lines as we know it there is no denying VoIP is the future of unified communications.
What is VoIP?
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is an innovative alternative to the traditional office hard phone. Also known as VoIP telephony, it allows businesses to receive and make calls over the internet. Businesses can opt for a hybrid system of soft and hard phones, although many choose an entirely digital system that is accessed through a desktop computer or cellular device.
What are the benefits of VoIP?
Essentially, VoIP is the solution for traditional phone lines and the ISDN switch off. Businesses can still choose to have traditional hard phones with their online telephony network. The difference is that instead of relying on outdated phone lines, that are soon to be switched off altogether, your phone system will be entirely digital and reliant on the internet. As a result, it is paramount you have a suitable high-capacity internet connection before implementing this type of telephony within your business – but first what are some of the benefits?
Flexible & cost-effective
Implementing VoIP telephony through an IT support service is easier than ever, not to mention a lot more cost-effective than a traditional phone line. Many IT support companies tailor their packages to the needs of you and your business, giving your organisation added flexibility when it comes to your monthly costs as well as additional features and perks traditional phone networks don’t offer.
In this day and age, mobility is also crucial for large and small businesses alike. The flexibility of a VoIP system allows both mobile and desk-based users. As this telephony can easily integrate with mobile phones, employees can access the network from anywhere without necessarily having to be in the office at their desk. This is ideal for remote working and on-the-road employees.
As a VoIP telephony system relies on a digital network for calling, adding additional employees to your network is easier than if you were relying on traditional phone lines and hard phones. The flexibility also allows the system to nurture growth within your business, and evolve with your organisation as it scales up and grows.
Perhaps most pertinent, a VoIP telephony system can cement business continuity within your day-to-day operations in a way traditional phone lines cannot. In the unlikely situation where you lose your internet connection, for example, it’s often a far more practical and financially viable fix than a damaged phone line. This means less downtime.
It’s also important to note your IT support service will be able to actively manage your digital assets and infrastructure, including your internet connection. This means any potential issues can be resolved before they escalate. This kind of proactive solution that actively monitors your internet connection translates to a more reliable, stable service when it comes to your IT infrastructure – including your telephony system.
VoIP services offer improved call quality and reliability with more clarity than traditional hard phones. This is of course, reliant on your internet connectivity. If you hope to implement this telephony within your business operations, you will need a stable, high-capacity internet connection. The team at Acronyms recommends a leased line to host your system. With the extra bandwidth, your team will easily be able to maximise productivity and complete their day-to-day tasks.
What is a leased line?
If your business is in need of a stable, high-capacity internet connection, you should probably be considering a leased line. A leased line is a symmetrical internet connection leased exclusively to you and your business – hence the name. Reliable and secure, a leased line is essentially a private network a business can utilise to manage its data-centric services. For businesses with bandwidth-intensive digital solutions like VoIP and offsite backups, a leased line gives networks the stable, fast connection they need to maintain a reliable connection.
Do I need a leased line?
The short answer is yes – if you hope to implement VoIP within your day-to-day operations, you will need a reliable internet connection. Your commercial broadband modem struggling away in the corner just isn’t going to cut it. There are many benefits to having a leased line, including fast, symmetrical download and upload speeds. This feature allows businesses to transfer large amounts of data and information without compromising on the speed or stability of their internet connection. For more information about leased lines you can read the following blog post in which we detail the differences between broadband and leased line internet connectivity.
Implement VoIP with Acronyms IT Support
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a modern digital alternative to traditional hard phones that can boost productivity and nurture growth within your business. With the right internet connection, this telephony can cement continuity in your day-to-day operations and put you ahead of the tech curve as we bid farewell to the traditional phone line as we know it.
If you’re looking for VoIP providers, look no further than Acronyms IT Support. We’ve been assisting businesses and organisations across the South West with their digital assets and IT infrastructure since 2003. Our team of technicians, engineers and consultants offers a variety of different digital solutions and services that can deliver secure, stable IT infrastructure to your business. If you have any questions about VoIP and the other services we offer, please contact the team today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is VoIP good for small businesses?
Due to the flexibility and low costs involved with VoIP, even the smallest of businesses can utilise the additional features and perks of the service. Unlike traditional phone lines which require huge amounts of internal and external IT infrastructure, VoIP allows small and large businesses alike to implement call recording, voicemail-to-email transcribing, CRM integration and remote working as well as a number of other features.
In terms of scalability, VoIP telephony can nurture growth within your business and is relatively easy to scale up and grow with your organisation. While traditional hard phones require costly upgrades and extensions as you employ more staff, VoIP’s digital assets and infrastructure are very easily introduced to your network.
Is VoIP cheaper than a landline?
In the long term, VoIP is significantly cheaper than traditional hard phones because it does not depend on PSTN and ISDN to work. Traditional copper phone lines are more expensive to maintain, not to mention on the verge of being decommissioned completely. VoIP is also easier to scale up and can be easily budgeted for as your business grows and more staff are employed.
How do I find VoIP providers?
Since 2003, Acronyms IT Support has been assisting businesses with their IT infrastructure and digital assets. Our team of engineers, technicians and consultants use their combined industry expertise and experience to offer a variety of different digital solutions and services. If you have any questions about VoIP and the other digital solutions we offer, contact the team today.
What business internet is best for VoIP?
The best business internet for you and your team is a leased line. Ideal for businesses with data-centric services such as VoIP telephony and fully automated offsite backups, a leased line gives your business exclusive access to a symmetrical fibre optic cable, providing reliable, fast internet any time of the day. Essentially, a leased line allows the transfer of large amounts of data without compromising on the speed or stability of your internet connection.
Will VoIP affect my internet speed?
As long as your internet connection is stable and reliable, VoIP will not impact your internet speed. However, VoIP does require high-capacity internet, especially if you are using a number of data-centric digital solutions that require a lot of bandwidth.
Does VoIP need internet?
VoIP relies purely on a reliable, stable internet connection to function properly. You will need an internet connection to implement VoIP telephony within your day-to-day operations. Your connection will need to be high-capacity with maximum bandwidth.
Can I use VoIP on a mobile?
You can use VoIP through your business mobile. VoIP’s innovative technology can also transcribe voicemails into text and send them straight to your email. Revered for flexibility and mobility, you and your staff will no longer be deskbound.
Is it easy to use VoIP?
As long as you have a working, stable internet connection that has the bandwidth capacity to support your network, a VoIP telephony system is just as easy to use as a traditional phone. Unlike platforms like Skype or WhatsApp, you can phone any number much like you would through a hard phone.
Can I use VoIP like a regular phone?
The short answer is yes – a VoIP telephony service offers the same core solutions as a traditional hard phone. You will still be able to make, take and manage your telephony communications. The only real difference is how your voice is communicated – rather than traditional copper lines, a VoIP system uses the internet.
How does VoIP work?
While traditional hard phones rely on the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and use analogue lines to carry voice signals, VoIP uses your IP, or internet protocol, to communicate with computers and other devices across the internet. This enables your VoIP system to make outgoing calls as well as take incoming calls through your digital network.
Do I need a VoIP phone?
With PSTN and ISDN already on the verge of redundancy, making the switch over to VoIP telephony should be a priority for any business or organisation in the UK, regardless of size.
What is ISDN and why is it relevant to my business?
Integrated Services Digital Network, also known as ISDN, is a service that uses digital transmissions to make phone calls over the traditional copper wires of the Public Switched Telephone Network, or PSTN. It was announced in 2017 both the IDSN and Public Switched Telephone Network would be switched off entirely and out of use by 2025, meaning your business has just a few years to make the switch over to a more modern VoIP telephony system.
What is a VoIP phone?
A VoIP phone uses voice over internet protocol for the purpose of delivering an internet-centric telephony service to businesses and organisations alike. Calls are placed and taken over the internet rather than the traditional PSTN. As there is less IT infrastructure involved than with traditional hard phones, VoIP’s voice calling service can be provided at a significantly smaller cost.
What is telephony?
The term telephony describes any technology used to communicate, such as texting, video conferencing, voicemails, call recording and even faxing. VoIP is a type of telephony.
What does VoIP mean?
VoIP is the name for an internet-based calling service that allows businesses and organisations to both receive and make calls through their internet connection.
What does VoIP stand for?
VoIP stands for voice over internet protocol. Your internet protocol, or IP, can communicate with other devices and send your voice signals digitally.