If your business is using traditional phones lines, your monthly bill can get quite high… especially if you have multiple lines, provide a toll-free number for customers to call in on, or if you place international calls. Substantial savings are possible by switching to VOIP for some or all of these services, and now-a-days you can be up and running in just a few minutes.
Types of Phones
Because VOIP is a digital technology while traditional phone service (called POTS) is analog, different types of phones are required for VOIP. Adapters are available which allow analog phones to work with VOIP;they cost as little as $30. Another option is a no-cost software phone which is a program or app which runs on a smartphone or computer. Digital phones (called IP phones) are another good choice and are commonly used in offices.
Advantages and Limitations of VOIP
Using VOIP, calls can be made anywhere in the world over the Internet at no cost. For example, a business may have one office in the U.S. and another office in different country. Unlimited free calls can be made between these offices as long as each has an internet connection. To make calls to regular phone numbers using VOIP however, you’ll need an account with an ITSP (Internet Telephone Service Provider). Many such providers exist and most offer rates which are substantially lower than those from traditional phone services.
One potential disadvantage of VOIP is that call quality can be negatively affected if used over a slow or overloaded internet connection. In such cases there are measure which can help, but having a good internet connection is the best way to achieve good voice quality.
Once you’ve opened an account with an ITSP, you’ll be provided with a set of credentials which are then used to configure your VOIP device (sometimes called ‘SIP client’), for example a smartphone app, digital phone, or analog phone adapter. You’re then ready to use the new service and enjoy the cost savings!
Please Note: Pantek offers a wide range of VOIP services, and also supports popular open-source VOIP applications such as Asterisk and FreePBX. We can also assist with the configuration of many VOIP devices at our standard consulting rates. Part 2 of this blog will discuss opening a Pantek VoIP account.