VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, may be one of those terms you keep hearing in the business world, but haven’t quite got a handle on. In a nutshell, it’s simply a phone system that uses the internet to send calls and other features instead of the standard phone system. The technology revolves around taking standard analog audio signals and turning them into digital signals that can be sent over the internet.
The benefit for any business, small or large, is the tremendous cost savings. You’re basically using your internet connection (which you pay for anyway) to be your telephone system at no extra cost. By using VoIP software, you’re circumventing the phone company.
Though it’s actually been around for a while, VoIP has recently become the hot new thing in business communication and a wholesale shift in the industry is underway. You can thank high-speed internet connections for that. The result is that even major phone carriers are moving into VoIP.
There are three basic ways to use VoIP – ATA, IP Phones, and Computer-to-Computer, with guidance from WhatsAByte.com.
ATA or Analog Telephone Adapter
The most common use is through an adapter that is connected through your current system into an internet connection. The adapter turns the analog signals your phone sends out into digital signals.
These actually function like everyday phones, but instead of your typical wall jack, it comes equipped with an Ethernet port, which is then connected directly to your router with an Ethernet cable. It has an Ethernet connector that plugs directly into your router. IP phones are just another way to use your phone for something your desktop could do—but in a much more compact and “mobile” way!
How VoIP Works
Traditionally, phone systems have relied on a process called circuit switching—an inefficient function of connecting wires to caller parties for reliable connection. These days, however, analog calls are converted to digital signals and transmitted through a fiber optic cable. Also inefficient, this process converts ALL signals—even sounds it hears and sounds it doesn’t, including silence and pauses.
Enter VoIP. This system employs what is known as Packet-Switching–the ability to detect sounds, convert signals (skipping the silent ones!), and saving circuit space altogether. VoIP opens up more channels for your connection to find the least-congested circuit—saving time and money.
The Future of VoIP
While most analysts believe it will be at least a decade before companies and telephone providers make the full switch to VoIP, the potential is huge and more and more businesses are ready to make the switch.
Most telecommunications experts expect a decade before companies and telephone providers make the leap to VoIP fulltime. But we’d like to expedite that process. If it’s going to happen, why not keep ahead of the curve and set your business apart?
At MAX Communications, we can help design the right VoIP system for you. Our systems offer:
- Voicemail with email and cell phone notification
- Voice over IP remote telephone extensions
- Networking of systems over the internet
- Custom music on hold recordings
- Remote maintenance
- (User-friendly) Web interface to make changes to your telephone
- Integration with door phones, intercom, and paging systems
- T-1, PRI, and SIP telephone lines
- Multiline cordless telephones
- Auto attendant with multiple greetings
So basically everything you expect with a traditional analog circuit-to-circuit systems without the expense and without the hassle. In this case, it’s better not to be wired in.
In the market for a new phone system, give us a call at 856-825-6000 and ask how we can help your small business.