Over the years, the traditional phone industry has made a great impact on users’ lives, enabling them to make phone calls using the traditional telephone lines. However, with the continually improving technology, some of these services are reducing and almost becoming obsolete. One amazing technology in the telecommunication space is Voice over internet protocol. Please read on to find out what it is and the steps to set it up.
What is Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)?
This is a technology in communication where users can use an internet connection to make voice calls. In this technology, there is no use of analogue and standard telephone lines. Rather, a digital signal travelling through the internet connection converts the voice signals in traditional phone calls.
Therefore, for one to make calls using this technology, there must be a broadband connection. The good thing is, that many people can now access the internet, making the VoIP technology quite effective. Whether you are at home or the office, you can utilize it since it is appropriate for both your personal and business use. Nonetheless, some VoIP services allow you to use a computer or a special VoIP phone and others allow the use of the traditional phone as long as it is connected to a VoIP adapter
The VoIP technology has some advantages. For one, the audio conversions over an internet connection are cheaper than audios on a telephone network. Therefore, it reduces the cost of communication by a great percentage. Besides, most VoIP services include features of unified communications, UC, for efficiency. Additionally, the prices are affordable and almost free for services like conference and video calls, and webinars for both companies and individuals for commercial and personal use. Therefore, big companies, freelancers, and practitioners can take advantage of it.
On the other hand, bandwidth limitation is one of the main disadvantages of VoIP. This makes it difficult for some listeners to take note of the difference, and they might think it is an analogue call. Moreover, some VoIP services do not have power backup, meaning they cannot work in case of a power outage.
8 Steps to Set up Voice Over Internet Protocol
If you want to set up a VoIP system, you can follow the following steps to get it right from the start to the end;
- Determine What Your Business Team Needs
This is the first crucial step you need to take before you transit to VoIP. Each system is different, thus, knowing what your team needs from the system is important. This way, you can have the necessary features for your team included in the system. Therefore, if you want a system that provides calling and texting options only, you can go for that. On the other hand, if you want something extra tools that will allow your tool to perform tasks like sharing files, video conferencing, and team messaging, go for a VoIP system that allows these.
- Have a Reliable Network
A VoIP system requires a broadband connection. Therefore, your internet speed must be able to handle inbound and outbound calling. Also, whatever system you go for should handle any internet traffic resulting from team messaging or video conferencing. Moreover, its speed should maintain great quality even when there are multiple calls. When it comes to network reliability, speed and strength, you can use speed tests to determine how efficient and effective the service you have chosen is.
- Choose the Private Branch Exchange Technology
You need to decide whether you are going for a cloud Private Branch Exchange (PBX) or an on-premise system. Cloud PBX (hosted PBX) is a great solution for a company without an IT team. If this is the case in your company, you will subscribe to a service provider to manage the hardware for you. On the other hand, if you opt for a PBX that is not hosted, you will need a server and IT team in your office to take care of the system. Ensure they are VoIP certified. They can help include features that enhance communication in your business.
- Determine the Budget
It is important to know how much your business is willing to spend on a VoIP system, so consider the price of the providers and plans. Remember, whether you opt for a provider who charges per user, per month, or one that has extra costs, be keen not to overstretch your available budget.
- Select the Features
Each business is unique in the features and hardware they need. therefore, ensure you consider the VoIP option available so you get the right one for your business. Importantly, be keen on the features that you need to have and those that will be nice to have, so you can prioritize what will be best for your business and offer several benefits.
- Choose a VoIP Provider
At this point, you need to make a decision. There are numerous options available for your business, irrespective of the size. Therefore, it is important to narrow them down to the one that fits your business. The good thing is, that there are service providers who offer free trial periods before you make the final decision, so you can take advantage of this provision. Others have money-back guarantees meaning that purchasing their service is risk-free and you can test drive it.
- Number Port
This is essential when you are shifting from the traditional telephone line to a VoIP system as it helps you keep and maintain the existing numbers. This also means that you won’t inconvenience your customers but will continue your communications. Here, you don’t need to worry since many VoIP providers have a system that facilitates number porting.
- Installation and Configuration of the VoIP System
You need a tech team to efficiently manage the on-premise installation of the system. However, if you don’t have an on-premise server room, cloud PBX is an alternative. It will get rid of the need for extra tech personnel to help with the installation, and thus reduce costs.
When done with the installation, configure the features of your new VoIP system. Always ensure all aspects of your system are properly configured for a great setup.
Switching from the traditional telephone lines to VoIP systems is great, efficient, and cheaper. You now make good use of the internet, and you can apply it for both personal and business use. Also, most service providers make the transition process smooth, and from the above steps, setting up the system is not quite a daunting task.
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