5 Benefits of Power over Ethernet for VoIP and UC

Power over Ethernet

By Joe Roche on August 2, 2018 in Blueface, Communications & VoIP, Technology

Blueface business VoIP phones arrive pre-configured, so to start making phone calls, all you need is to plug in one cable — Power over Ethernet (PoE). PoE allows an ethernet cable to transport an electrical and network connection from your switch to your powered devices (PD).

Originally developed as a proprietary solution, standardisation – IEEE 802.3af and 802.3at – has changed the cabling landscape. Now, millions of devices — ranging from IP Cameras to VoIP-enabled hardware — are powered by PoE.

PoE Simplified
PoE transports the internet and power over a single cable and all through a single wall port. Saved wallspace and headspace.

In fact, Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) devices were a huge driver for change. As businesses began to replace traditional phone systems, they encountered difficulty as VoIP phones could not pick up power over network cables and required additional cabling.

For enterprise customers with hundreds of devices, this became problematic and the need for an all-in-one solution grew. This blog explores PoE and how it changed the face of hardware connectivity.

All-in-One Device Cabling

You may think that your networking operations room is in need of an overhaul but prior to the 2000s, phone system cabling was a constricting mess.

With Power over Ethernet, devices need only one cable for power and internet connectivity, meaning your office will no longer be strangled by cables.

Another advantage of all-in-one cabling is accessibility. As powered devices – such as phones or cameras – require presence all over an office, it can be difficult to find a power source as well as an internet network port.

Single-solution PoE opens the powered device options for your workplace and frees up power outlets.

Expansive Device Numbers

For business premises with no PoE infrastructure, device numbers are serious considerations for cabling solutions as each smart device will require dual connectivity.

Many customers ask why a wireless connection wouldn’t be sufficient for devices and our response is the same every time — distance damages reliability and quality.

Real-time IP traffic, whether it is from the supplier (in this case Blueface) or from your router suffers from voice traffic. The overall quality of VoIP, in particular, suffers as distance grows. Using WiFi with real-time data will often result in a drop in latency and this affects audio quality with a potential for audio lag or dropped calls.

There are solutions — such as the TGP-600 Wireless Base Station — which acts as a wireless medium. Concurrency can be tricky and will require significant wireless solutions and QoS settings or your voice calling quality can suffer.

Device Health & Safety

PoE switches are relatively low wattage, meaning the typical hazards associated with electric work are reduced. IEEE Standardization means that installations for certain devices will be precise. For example, most VoIP phones operate off a 15w power supply over ethernet.

Be Aware
While PoE is perfectly safe for the user to operate, not all equipment is designed for PoE. To prevent any damage to your equipment, please check the specifications.

If your PDs are unsuitable for the PoE current, they will not power up – which prevents unnecessary damage to your devices – saving you money in a multitude of ways.

Uninterrupted Power Supply Continuity

PoE works with Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS). Working with UPS, PoE allows business devices – such as security cameras or VoIP hardware – to continue operating even when the power cuts.

The Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) feature allows businesses to continue making calls with accidental cuts or even in the face of a blackout. This is, of course, dependent on having a live internet connection.

Unprepared for the worst?
Check out this blog on Disaster Recovery Made Easy for details on Unified Communications, SoftPhone and details on keeping your comms live during a blackout.

If your business has a failover internet connection, your business can still make calls without an active power supply.

Time and Cost

Time spent during system installation – particularly in the case of new premises / moving offices situation – is a huge consideration when choosing a new phone system.

Blueface always recommend that businesses move to a location where infrastructure for PoE is in place as it will save them time and money in the long run. The true cost of downtime only becomes known after a prolonged outage period but most businesses will be wary of missed communications.

Did you know?
If there is no PoE system in place, investing in a middleware solution can be achieved. However, Blueface would recommend a more direct approach.

Everything post-installation considered, PoE is a not-so-secret overheads saver. Unlock the true power of a business phone system and save significant overheads with Blueface and Power over Ethernet.

Summary

Power over Ethernet is the best cabling to supercharge your VoIP-powered business phone system. As a short refresher, PoE grants business owners:

— Less cabling.
— Safer devices.
— More device options.
— More reliability.
— More savings.
— Less frustration.