What is VoIP?
Well, the acronym stands for Voice over Internet Protocol which simply means making phone calls using the same technology that you use for Skype, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. In a commercial environment, this can require specialised phones or other equipment. The business environment also depends on a strong, stable signal for call quality so you want to make sure that your data cabling is up-to-scratch.
Do I need VoIP?
In a business setting, it will become necessary to move over to VoIP at some point. As the fiber network is rolled out, some parts of the copper network will be retired over a period of time. Some areas do not have fiber and some rural areas are a long way off getting fiber so the copper network will be maintained in the areas where it is needed for quite some time to come. So your land-lines won't disappear tomorrow. However, it's always better to plan the move to something new on your terms rather than out of necessity due to copper landlines no longer being available.
How Does VoIP Work?
Unlike a copper cable connecting to your landline phone, VoIP lines don't exist as a physical thing. Instead, a VoIP line is a number allocated to your existing broadband connection. Your voice gets chopped up into lots of little "packets", sent to its destination along the fiber optic network using light. The packets are then reassembled at the other end using the same connection you use for your internet and emails etc. This means it makes use of your existing fiber (or VDSL) internet connection rather than having a separate "landline".
Business Grade Fiber
What's the catch? The catch is call quality. Unless you have business-grade fiber you can't be certain of the quality of the call. In peak data traffic times you can find some of those little packets can get lost with you or your caller. This can result in the voice sounding like a robotic frog , however, this is uncommon and can be sorted out by upgrading your fibre connection to business-grade. A business-grade fibre connection is like having your own bus lane for your voice communication so you can zip along in your own bus lane while everyone's Facebook and email data chug along in the slow lanes.
Is There Anything Else I Need to Consider?
There is often a small cost to upgrade your alarm system connection so that it can communicate using IP technology rather than via a dial-up modem. And it's possible you may need some data cabling or computer cabling run (yes we can help with that) for your new IP phones to work on. If you have a PABX - well there are many solutions to go with that so give us a call and we can answer specific questions about your PABX system. There's usually enough savings in line rental to pay for any PABX equipment you may need.