5 Myths about VoIP debunked
The first VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) call was made in 1974 – back in the ARPANET times. ARPANET was the precursor to today’s Internet, existing as a network of connections on government and educational computers. Using an algorithm called “continuous variable slope delta (CVSD) modulation,” a real-time voice sample was sent using a 16 kbps connection between computers at the Information Sciences Institute and Lincoln Lab.
Even though VoIP technology has existed for over 42 years it still remains a complicated concept for those without industry experience to get their head around. Maybe it is because we are so used to old, traditional copper lines. Maybe the concept is a bit too abstract. Or maybe a landline phone system is just a utility for the majority of us, and we take it for granted and don’t want to think about how it works. And there is nothing wrong in that. Not for the next few years anyway.
What you might not be aware of is that traditional copper phone lines are being phased out across Europe. You can no longer get a traditional phone line in Austria and Scandinavia. The shutdown is almost complete in the Netherlands, and Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Greece will complete it by 2020. In the UK, BT has recently announced that from 2020 you will no longer be able to purchase integrated services digital network (ISDN) and public switched telephone network (PSTN).
This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get a landline number nor that you should stop offering landline phone numbers as a communication channel for your business. Quite the opposite – according to our ICT report, 44.4% of consumers prefer to call a business on their landline. It is still considered a more business-suitable way of communicating than mobile, and consumers believe that there is less chance of distracting or disturbing the person when they are busy.
VoIP is the alternative technology which 42 years into existence is readying itself to become the primary method of voice communications. It is the future and the present. The revolution has already started and is progressing extremely fast. VoIP market share in the telecom industry grew from 12% market penetration in 2010 to 32% in 2015 in the US.
Even though more companies are implementing VoIP solutions, there is plenty of misconceptions about the service provided. Below we will try to debunk them so that you can make an informed decision when considering the switch to VoIP.
Myth 1: I will lose my existing number
You might be apprehensive to switch to VoIP in a fear of leaving some of your customers without their usual method of contact with your company. And rightfully so.
Customer retention is tricky enough without throwing an unnecessary wrench in the works. When switching to VoIP you will be able to port (transfer) your existing business numbers when you switch to a new service provider.
As you research Hosted VoIP providers, look for those who make number porting a priority and include it as part of their migration process. Many Hosted VoIP providers go so far as to dedicate an entire department to porting new customers’ existing phone numbers to new Hosted VoIP accounts.
Myth 2: IP telephony is only useful for enterprises
VoIP solutions offer flexibility and scalability, fitting the telephony needs of a company, regardless of its size or type. VoIP can go from processing 1 or 2 calls to handling hundreds of users simultaneously. Features like voicemail, free call management and call conferencing are obviously of benefit to businesses of all sizes.
Fundamentally, the remote capabilities which VoIP enables are just as, if not more, applicable to small businesses, where employees may be consistently in and out of the office or premises, as large enterprises.
Myth 3: The setup is timely and difficult
VoIP set up is far from timely and difficult. Its flexibility allows it to come as an on-site, hosted or even managed cloud-based phone service.
For the most hosted setups, all you need to set up is a computer with a broadband connection and an IP Phone. An IP phone connects directly to your broadband connection. It comes pre-configured so once it is plugged in you can make and receive calls the same way you normally do, just dial and talk.
It couldn’t be easier and usually your service provider will walk you through it.
Myth 4: The call quality is poor
When VoIP was first starting out, users complained about echoes, background noise, and delays. This was because unlike typical landlines, VoIP technology compressed voice data into “packets” that were then transmitted to their destination, decompressed, and delivered. As VoIP relies on the Internet, the call quality was beholden to the quality of broadband at that time.
The reliability and speed of Internet connections and as a result, VoIP technology, has come a long way, even in the last decade.
Providers have identified the underlying causes of poor call quality and established strategies for overcoming them.
These strategies, usually labelled Quality of Service (QoS) protocols, evaluate disruptive factors like jitter, latency, and delay, and guarantee that certain resource levels are allocated to voice traffic.
To alleviate your quality concerns, always check with potential providers about their Quality of Service and how they ensure high call quality.
Myth 5: VoIP doesn’t offer that much saving
There are a few factors that influence the price of VoIP solutions and can help you reduce the price of your monthly phone bill significantly.
- Compared to the significant upfront investment required when buying a traditional phone system, there is little or no capital expenditure when moving to VoIP technology.
- There are no line rental fees. As you are using the Internet to make the call, you need not to pay for the copper lines which a traditional phone system requires to function.
- VoIP solutions often come with premium in-built features at no extra cost
VoIP is the accepted communication technology of today and the future. In a few years, you will be left with no other option so whether you are ready to make a switch today, are formulating a plan to migrate to the technology or have other questions about how VoIP works, get in touch with one of our Unified Communications Experts – fill in a get a quote form or call 01 524 2000.
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