Voice Over IP – The Future of Telephony?

Voiceover Directory

Voice Over IP – The Future of Telephony?


Voice over IP is the new buzz word in telecoms, but what is voice over IP and what does it mean to you as the end user? In its simplest terms voice over IP is the transmission of your voice over the internet to another user. There are many forms of voice over IP; most of us are familiar with Skype, MSN and other peer-to-peer programs. However in the world of telecoms the PBX is king, and has been adapted by the major vendors to work with a voice applications and trunks. The first incarnation of voice over IP was H323, this is used chiefly as the peer to peer protocol, and in other words it was used to link one or more telephone systems together. Now we can add to this SIP, this stands for session initiation protocol, and has become the de facto method of voice over IP. SIP is a set of standards for telephony equipment that use is voice over IP, and is used to describe the working of both trunk and telephone set that can use voice over IP.

Many companies have taken the step to migrate completely to a SIP set up, and have completely replaced the traditional PSTN lines. They have done this in two ways; one method is the hosted solution, whereby the control of the connections from the trunk to the telephone set, is controlled by a system that is not in the customer's promises. The other method is using equipment in the building, be it a traditional PBX that is enabled for voice over IP, or a soft PBX such as Trixbox, which is based on digiums asterisk PBX. Each of these options has its own merits, they hosted solution can be very quickly set up, but has the disadvantage of being potentially bandwidth intensive and also of the end user not having total control over their telephone system. The in house PBX solution, can also be problematic, if the consumer chooses one of the traditional manufactures, they are stuck with that manufactures implementation of voip if the PBX does not support SIP end points, with the soft PBX solution the consumer is free to choose from multiple vendors SIP end points. If the consumer chooses one of the traditional PBX Manufacturers, they have the security of knowing that the manufacture has a dealer network offering support for their equipment, whereas if the consumer chooses the soft PBX route they are often combining equipment from several different sources and the support can be limited, however this should not put consumers off as the choice and range of handsets can be large and give greater flexibility. The majority of soft PBX are based on Linux operating system, this at first put put off the wary; However this should not be the case as Linux is a very stable operating system, and due to the Open Source nature of the asterisk PBX, can be modified to the consumers' needs more precisely.

One of the key benefits of using voice over IP for trunk provisioning is the ability to have out of exchange area numbers, allowing small businesses to appear much larger than they actually are. This can be quite useful for small companies, who want to establish a presence in another town or city without the expense of opening the new office, while providing a local number for customers to use. Another area where voice over IP has changed the way we work, is in the growth of home workers, who can have a telephone off the company's PBX in their home with all the features and benefits that the PBX phone provides to them including the use of the company's trunk lines, also enabling them to have the appearance of being in the office while actually being at home. As a company we decided to adopt voice over IP for our communications system, we currently have 13 voice over IP trunks circuits providing local numbers to all customers across the north-west of England, we also at busy periods use VoIP to push calls to a remote answering service and we have remote extensions in Oxford and Manchester. The consequence of this is that we are able to offer our clients the highest level of service. We have gone for the soft PBX route and the cost has been less than the traditional PBX enabled for voice over IP.

It would be fair to say that a voice over IP is not without its problems, the first issue is to make sure that if you have chosen to use voice over IP trunks, you have sufficient bandwidth. So ideally you would need an ADSL 2+ service from your broadband supplier, in the UK this would mean you would have a non contended service with the potential for 20mb download speed and a 1mb upload speed, but you should not overlook the latency of the circuit, a Ping time greater than 250 milliseconds will result in poor speech quality. Our business model is based around the use of the phone and to make sure we always have working lines, we also have on circuit of ISDN2 as backup to our sip lines, it also provides dial up to traditional pbx systems for remote programming.

In summary voip if applied in the right way is a positive boon to the way we use our phone service both now and in the future.


Source by Ian S Thompson

Start typing and press Enter to search

Shopping Cart