VoIP Phone Service has matured and grew to become a very robust service offering many features and capabilities that have made it the preferred communications solution for companies of all sizes. Simply put, it’s telephone service delivered over the web. To do that, the old analog voice data is digitally encoded with digital codes called codec.
Once it arrives in time to turn the signal back over to the analog, the reverse process is initiated. So you get the phone system with the web, just like a traditional analog phone used conventional landlines. But instead of connecting via copper wire or fiber optic cable to the phone network, you connect via your high speed internet connection to a voip phone system. The digital signal then gets converted into an analog signal. The difference is striking and quite impressive when taking into account the elimination of traditional phone lines. The end result is a virtual phone system that virtually functions like the traditional phone system.
SIP Trunking refers to the set of Internet services that enable you to utilize a hosted PBX service and SIP based phone system through the same IP address. The advantages of this setup are manifold. You can easily get round the clock customer support without having to migrate from one infrastructure to another, and you can also enjoy VoIP Bundling features like voice mail to fax to email etc. which cannot be duplicated in a traditional phone system.
There are some disadvantages inherent in any form of switching over to a VoIP solution for your business.
The most glaring disadvantage is the huge expenditure involved in switching over conventional PBX phone systems to a VoIP solution. Traditional phone services incur heavy costs because they have to pay for a wide area network (WAN) and also for phone equipment and circuits which must be replaced every few years. VoIP solutions do not require such expensive equipment and network maintenance facilities. But this does not imply that VoIP solutions are entirely void of disadvantages.
A VoIP solution has its own disadvantages and it is very important to understand these downsides before deciding upon its implementation. One of the most prominent of these disadvantages is that calls made with a VoIP system are much slower than those made with the traditional telephony solutions. This is because VoIP uses packets of information instead of traditional phone lines. This enables VoIP systems to transmit information at higher speeds. However, although the call quality is better with VoIP than with the regular old telephony solutions, you need to remember that you cannot use your broadband connection for making long distance calls.
Another disadvantage that can make VoIP solutions less appealing to business users is the slow speed at which data can be transmitted over a WAN line. In general, Internet-based phone systems and traditional phone systems have similar transmission speed. The difference comes up when there is congestion in a particular line. This results in a delay in the data being transmitted across the line. It may also result in the information getting dropped from the speakers of the persons who are calling.
SIP trunks or extensions are another disadvantage that comes with an internet-based VoIP phone system.
Extensions or trunks are numbers assigned to particular IP networks and allow for additional features like call forwarding and voicemail to be integrated into the business continuity plan. The cost involved with such a feature depends on the number of assigned sips, their duration and connection fees with the local telephone company. The more assigned sips, the higher the cost and vice versa.
- The final disadvantage of VoIP phone services comes with the fact that the billing system has to be adapted to an ILSI or IPLD.
- An example of this is the toll-free numbers that are commonly used in call centers and other business continuity plans.
- These numbers are assigned by an ILSI gateway and thus, need to be converted to IP numbers before being used.
- If a business adopts an ILSI gateway, this can significantly reduce the cost involved in the entire billing process.