You’ve probably heard about VoIP systems. Maybe you’ve heard people raving about how it’s so much better than traditional phone systems. Or maybe you’re just confused about what it is and how it works. And why do you need a new business system anyway? You’re happy with what you have?
In this article, we’re going to explain the what, how, and why of VoIP. We’re also going to give you some things to think about before you purchase a system for your business.
Consider this your simple introduction to purchasing a VoIP system.
What Is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and is a way of sending telephone calls using the internet rather than only standard phone lines. Essentially, it allows your business to take advantage of the technological advantages presented by the internet.
Remember, the telephone was invented several hundred years ago and hasn’t changed in massive ways since it’s invention. VoIP incorporates internet technology into phone calls.
How Does It Work?
Standard telephone calls are made using audio analog signals. When you make a phone call from a standard landline, your voice is translated into an analog signal, sent over the telephone lines, and then received on the other end by the person holding the phone.
Because you’re using analog signals, the options are pretty limited in terms of what you can do with those signals. You can hear them, record them on an answering machine…and that’s about it.
VoIP systems take the audio signal of your voice and translates it into digital packets. Then it sends those packets over the internet to the phone on the other end. If you are calling another IP phone, it will receive the digital packets and you’ll hear the person’s voice.
If you’re calling a standard phone, the digital packets will travel some distance over the internet, then get translated back into an audio signal by something called a PTSN gateway. It’s the translator between your VoIP system and the phone lines.
Why Is VoIP Superior To Standard Phones?
Many people wonder what’s so special about VoIP systems. After all, isn’t it just another way to make phone calls? Why do they need some sort of newfangled technology when the old one has worked just fine for a few hundreds years?
It’s a fair question. It can be hard to understand why you would want to replace something that already works fine.
But there are some very significant advantages to VoIP systems.
VoIP costs far less than standard phone lines. Depending on your business and the system you choose, you may not need to invest in any new hardware at all. In this case, you’re only going to be paying for your internet, without additional costs on top of that.
If you do choose to purchase a specific VoIP plan and system, your monthly charges will probably be less than a standard phone system. You probably won’t need to sign a business contract that will keep you tied to a particular system for a long time, which then allows you to switch if a better option comes along.
If you have employees scattered across the country or world, you’re going to save a ton of money on long distance calls. Since you don’t need to use public phone lines, most of your IP calls will be free, even if you live on one side of the country and they live on the other side.
By sending voice data over the Internet, making a VoIP call becomes as cheap as sending an e-mail. For this reason, almost all VoIP providers offer unlimited nationwide calling, with no long distance fees or roaming charges. Moreover, international calls are made extremely cheaper. With VoIP, calls to friends and family overseas or across the border cost a fraction of what they used to using traditional telephony.
VoIP is relatively easy and inexpensive to scale as you grow your business. Instead of investing in large sums of cash in expensive hardware, you can usually add an additional extension by plugging in a IP phone and adjusting a few of the software settings. It’s really that simple.
VoIP systems offer the same features as traditional phone lines: conference calling, voicemail, caller ID, etc. But they also offer some serious advanced options, like voicemail forwarding to your email, voicemail transcription, advanced forwarding rules and call screening, integration with office software, and a host of others.
VoIP has some significant advantages over standard phone lines. They can increase the flexibility of your business while also significantly lowering costs.
Contact 5G Communications today for more information to make an informed decision.