Work life can be stressful enough without having to learn the ins and outs of how the latest VoIP business phones systems work. To help, we have created a helpful guide to VoIP phones to ease you in gently. Remember our expert team are at the end of one of our VoIP phones ready to answer any of your questions!
VoIP is the future of telephone systems, especially in the work environment. It stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It can also be referred to as a hosted phone system, IP telephony, internet calling, internet phone to name a few.
No matter what you call it, Westbrook Communications provides the best VoIP business phone systems on the market.
Traditional business phone systems use physical telephone lines to make the calls. VoIP removes the requirement for phone lines and instead uses the internet to make the call. This will help reduce your businesses call costs. It is true that you will need a reliable fast business broadband package, to ensure your VoIP business phones are working at their peak. Westbrook Communications can help ensure that your broadband and your VoIP business phone systems work together in harmony, to deliver the capacity and clarity your business deserves.
A hosted phone system, not only reduces the cost of calls (please call us for more details on our pricing so you can compare against your traditional phone system), but saves you further money, as there is no need to purchase extra phone lines when your business needs extra capacity - or when you no longer need that capacity. Setting up VoIP business phone systems is also much easier with less hardware required. In theory, depending on the complexity, we do most of the setup from our offices, we just send you the phones, all you need to do is plug in and start making those important business calls.
With a VoIP Business Phone System, you will reduce the cost of making calls, nationally, internationally and to mobiles.
There is no need for expensive infrastructure installation and maintenance, which will put a smile on anyones face.
With no fixed infrastructure, VoIP phone systems are agile, allowing your business to easily & quickly adapt to changing working environments. All you need for your phone to work is an internet connection, so working from home, the beach, or the boardroom - no problem!
VoIP business phones systems grow as your business grows, without the need to install more expensive phones lines. Extra capacity and users can be added in minutes using our user-friendly web based software.
No expensive engineers required! B
But we are always here if you need help.
Let’s start by saying that using a VoIP phone system is very similar to using a traditional phone system. If you want handsets, there are a whole range of VoIP handsets to choose from. We like to keep things simple for you and have a couple of options to look at. Making a call on a traditional phone, requires a physical path, which is provided by your phone company. When you make a call, your voice is transmitted from point A to point B, using phone lines that are linking up all over the country.
VoIP transmits calls differently. As you speak, your voice is digitised, this conversion from sound to digital is managed by Codecs. These can be in hardware devices, like handsets or and be software-based, as used in soft phones (more about that later). Either way, the codecs convert and compress your voice into ‘digital packets’. These digital packets are then broadcast in real time using Internet Protocol also known as IP. You may have heard of the term IP address. All computers that are connected to another computer have their own IP address to identify them. Therefore the digital packets can be sent via Local Area Network (LAN) your office network, or via the internet. They are usually transmitted by Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) or by Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP). At this point your digital packets are delivered to their final destination (the person you are talking to at the other end). The digital packets are then decoded and decompressed by the codecs and converted back to audio. They arrive, almost instantly, not enough for the human ear to notice any delay.
The illustration above helps to illustrate the elegant simplicity of the business phone system, most of the setup is managed in the 'cloud' by us.
Softphones (technically known as Software-based VoIP phones), are one noticeable difference with a VoIP business phone system that your business will benefit from. The ability to make any internet connected device into a phone using our software. You can plug in a headset into your computer, run our software and make calls, as if you were using a traditional phone. If you have ever made a call via ‘Whatsapp’ this is similar to our technology.
The illustration above maps out a typical VoIP business phone system. VoIP handsets, soft phones on existing computers and smart phones, link up to our hosted phone platform, which in turn then transmits the calls via the internet to the final destination.
Cloud Communications describes the use of using the internet (the cloud) to connect users via voice, email, chat and video. It basically describes internet-based communication. Cloud communications was born from VoIP.
Not to be mistaken with internet speed, bandwidth is the volume of data that can be carried from one point to another in a certain amount of time. It is calculated in megabits per second (Mbps).
SIP Trunks are not to be confused with VoIP. SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is the industry standard method adopted to enable VoIP calls between devices.
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is the technology that allows you to send voice calls over via an internet connection.
Internet Protocol provides an address for any connected device. There are 4 types of IP addresses. Private, public, dynamic and static. VoIP Business phone systems, use IP addresses to send data from the right caller to the right recipient.
Codec is the blending of the two words coder & decoder.
A codec encodes and decodes a digital data stream or data signal. If is usually a device or a piece of computer software. The codec will encode the data stream ready for transmission. The decoder element reverses the encoding for playback.
In regards to hosted phone systems, latency is the time taken for the digital data packet to reach its destination. Higher delay times will cause issues for VoIP, as voice delay can be noticed with a latency that is higher than 150 milliseconds. Even higher than that and conversations and video calls will become untenable.
Short for 'Digital Subscriber Line'. It refers to traditional telephone systems that allow broadband data to be sent over existing copper telephone lines without disrupting analog telephone services on the telephone lines.
Softphones describe devices that are being used as a phone. Any device that is connected to the internet, such as a computer or tablet, that has a microphone and a speaker can be used to make and receive voice and video calls (if there is a camera), utilising VoIP software.
Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) is the telephone equipment located at your office. Will include telephone handsets and DSL Routers as examples.
Auto-attendant is the use of a voice menu system. A caller will be offered a selection of options to choose from that then transfers them through to an extension. Can be used with or to replace a receptionist or telephone operator.
IVR takes the Auto-attendant facility one step further. Interactive Voice Response (IVR), connects callers with a pre-recorded voice to interact with the caller through voice commands and DTMF tones via the keypad.
This is the shortest part of our guide, as you will be pleased to hear that switching is a really easy process. After you speak to one of our team, we will help you to make the decision on whether you would like a cloud based, physical server setup or utilise your existing traditional PBX phone system. Once this decision is made, we will help you to decide who requires VoIP handsets or software-based setup using existing computers. Don’t worry we will guide you through the process.
Then leave it up to us to do the rest.
When we are ready we will send you the hardware and provide over the phone training on setting up the software. When you are ready, we then switch over to your new VoIP business phone system.
No. With a VoIP business phone system, you will be able to keep your existing telephone number/s. In fact a big bonus to a VoIP phone system, is that wherever you are, when making and receiving calls you keep the same phone number.
The speed of your broadband is important, but so is the bandwidth. As long as you have a superfast broadband connection, in nearly all cases it will be good enough to run a VoIP phone system. Obviously the higher the bandwidth and the lower latency the better the quality of the calls.
Sadly, no straightforward answer to that, depends on the handsets you have. In theory it might be possible and we would be happy to investigate if this is possible with your handsets.
No, but we can certainly look to create a tailored package to manage both your broadband and VoIP phone system at a competitive rate - please take a look at our Business Broadband page for further information on this service.
No, as VoIP phone systems rely on an internet connection, when there is a power outage, your router will not function. If there is a power outage, the reality is that no other office based work will be able to continue. Power outages in the UK are rare so disruption is minimal.
A sustained rate of 80Kbps for one VoIP line. We use the rule of 80Kbps times number of VoIP lines equals the required sustained broadband connection speed. You can check your broadband speed on the ‘Which’ website - https://broadbandtest.which.co.uk/
Yes! We would love to have the opportunity to discuss your requirements. Please call us on 0330 380 9090. Just mention you found this page on our website to the person that answers. Or you can request a call back using the form below.
Westbrook Communications has over 20 years experience in providing businesses and organisations across the UK with state of the art managed IT systems and IT support.
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Tel: 0330 380 9090
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