Problems with VoIP Systems

Problems with VoIP Systems

These are both exciting and pivotal times. The cost of bandwidth is decreasing, and with the cost of traditional phone service becoming expensive, many businesses are looking towards Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone systems or Hosted Phone Systems to help drive cost savings. VOIP phones are plugged into an ethernet port in the wall, in the same way you would plug your laptop into the wall for internet access. VoIP Phones transmit voice over your data connection instead of a traditional digital or analogue line connection. If you have enough bandwidth coming into your workspace to support your data traffic and voice traffic, you have the option to dispose of your traditional telephone service. This can mean some significant monthly savings. However, hosted phone system problems can also create headaches if your infrastructure cannot support it.

The Problems with VOIP and Hosted Phone Systems

It all comes down to your two things: your internal network, and the bandwidth coming into your place of business. If you do not have enough bandwidth available, your voice traffic can be severely compromised, and ultimately call quality will suffer – not great if you are a business that relies heavily on voice communication with clients and suppliers.

There is no way around this. Any Telecoms provider that is implementing a VOIP or Hosted phone system for your business should do a thorough evaluation of your bandwidth connectivity. It is very possible that you may have to bring in additional bandwidth to handle the voice traffic properly. Next Communications conduct a comprehensive Connectivity Health Check before proposing the ideal system for a business. It’s a critical part of the process of choosing the perfect solution, and there are important things to consider before purchasing.

What is the Most Important Thing about Installing VOIP and Hosted Phone Systems?

As I mentioned above, with a VOIP phone system, your data and voice traffic are now travelling over the same connection. There are three major issues that can occur if your VOIP system is not implemented properly.

First, if your bandwidth is insufficient to support both data and voice you will have very poor call quality, dropped calls, jitter, static, etc, and it can be a very frustrating experience for you and your customers.

Secondly, if your internal network is not configured properly to handle the VOIP system, complications arise.

Third and final, a VOIP system needs a Quality of Service (QoS) device or feature. This throttles back your data download/upload and gives preference to voice traffic at peak times, to maintain superior voice quality during those all-important calls. Voice traffic is more sensitive to slow downs and disruptions than data traffic. If your data traffic slows down it simply takes a little longer to download a file. If your voice traffic is slowed down, however, it can disconnect altogether (drop the call).

VoIP systems clearly have a whole set of advantages that put the technology streets ahead versus On-site Systems, which means the reasons for answering the question ‘Is a VoIP system the right solution for my business?’ are very compelling.

When contemplating a VoIP system for your business, there are a number of considerations and questions that you should be asking your potential provider. Here are just a few of them:

  1. Do I have enough bandwidth coming into my office to support a VOIP or Hosted system?
  2. What type of site survey and diagnostic assessment will you conduct to check the health of my network?
  3. Will the VOIP system have QOS in place to prioritise voice?

If you see blank stares or hear stammering, run for the hills - This is not a guessing game!

How Do You Know You’re Dealing with a quality VOIP Provider?

The obvious answer is they address the questions above with certainty and explain each step and what’s assessed, and more importantly, why.
So, when pondering the possibilities of upgrading your businesses communications, make sure you are receiving the level of service that your concerns, worries, or questions warrant from the very first enquiry, to the after sales support.


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