Voice over IP – Should My Business Switch?

Erin Compton - Friday, November 21, 2014

The National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout is gathering pace and it won’t be too long before increased internet capability is available in your area. With increased capacity comes an increase in the number and quality of new services deliverable to your premises. The primary one is VoIP.

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, essentially your phone service is carried over the Internet instead of the traditional copper network. VoIP has become popular with individuals thanks to services such as Skype, Gtalk and Viber etc.

Whist these services are great for single channel communications between individuals, VoIP for business is a lot more sophisticated, as businesses require multiple channels (lines in the old world) requiring higher bandwidth availability to ensure voice quality and continuity of multiple simultaneous calls. That’s where NBN (and other high bandwidth data services such EoC (Ethernet over Copper) comes in.

As NBN rolls out, the copper network gets removed, eventually, all voice communications will be delivered over a single broadband connection. So, VoIP really is the future of telecommunications.

When should my business move to VoIP?

Businesses with 12 or less lines can switch now. The current ADSL2+ business grade broadband service available to 95% of Australian business has the capacity to provide up to 12 simultaneous calls.

As with the end of life of analogue television transmission on December 10, 2013, most consumers had purchased and had been using Digital Television Sets for years and were ready for the switch over. So to it is with VoIP and the end of life of the analogue copper telephone network.

Businesses can have and IP based system installed and operational now, enjoying the cost savings of VoIP, utilising their existing internet connection, in readiness for NBN when it come to their suburb.

What Equipment Will My Business Need For A VoIP Phone System?

For a basic VoIP system, all you need is a good quality business grade ADSL internet connection and an ATA (Analogue Terminal Adapter), which converts your existing business phone lines to VoIP. The ATA allows you to utilise your existing telephone infrastructure and enjoy the cost savings of VoIP. However, this system is not NBN ready.

What Phone System Equipment Will My Business Need to be NBN ready?

Businesses can opt to retain their existing analogue telephone hardware, the NBN network termination device allows for conversion back to analogue, however, this is a bit like retaining your old analogue glass tube TV and utilising a Set Top Box to convert digital back to analogue.

The best option is to upgrade to a VoIP phone system.

Advantages of a VoIP Phone System for Your Business

  • Lower Costs – You’ll save money and introduce cost certainty through bundling your voice and data lines deliver cheaper call rates on VoIP while maintaining call redundancy in case voice or data service issues.
  • Flexible – You can easily add, move, or change phone extensions and locations, which saves money and gives you more flexibility.
  • Scalable – VoIP services are provided via a data network (internet) rather than voice, so there is greater scope for increasing or reducing the number of phone lines to your business.
  • Portable – Your workforce can use your communications system from home or on the road.
  • Feature Packed – Wireless IP phones connect users to your communications system and data resources, such as customer information, while they’re in the warehouse, on the sales floor, or anywhere they can access your data network wirelessly.
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