Switching your office from a traditional telephone system over to voice-over-IP (VoIP) or a Hosted PBX can be very beneficial. But before you jump at the opportunity to update your communication system, you must first take several factors into consideration.
How much Bandwidth is Required?
For starters, bandwidth is the term used to describe the amount of information your Internet connection can send and receive over a period of time, normally measured in kbps or kilobits per second. VoIP requires a certain amount of bandwidth to keep your conversations clear and free of disruptions. But exactly how much bandwidth you will need? This is the first step in determining if your office is compatible with VoIP technology.
- Use an online speed test to determine your maximum upload and download stream. We recommend using a fixed connection instead of your wifi connection in order to achieve more accurate results. And to get the best understanding of your Internet connection, you should conduct this test several times throughout the day. You will need to have a high speed (broadband) connection to use voice-over-IP.
- How many people in the office will be using the phone at the same time? For example, ten people would require ten times as much bandwidth.
- Ask your voice-over-IP service provider what audio codecs they offer. Full Quality Audio (G711 Codec) uses 87 kbps for each concurrent phone call (NEB) while Compressed Audio (G729 Codec) uses 33 kbps for each concurrent phone call (NEB). So, based on a typical DSL connection (600 kbps upload / 5000 kbps download), Full Quality: 600 kbps / 87 kbps = 6 concurrent calls, while Compressed Quality: 600 kbps / 33 kbps = 18 concurrent calls.
What Type of Router will you use?
An often overlooked piece of equipment, your router connects your computer and network equipment to the Internet. And guess what? Your router can have a major impact on your VoIP implementation. Your router should be powerful enough to flawlessly handle your office’s call volume. Factors to consider when choosing your router include:
- Number of Phones: The more phones you have connected, the more powerful your router will need to be.
- Dedicated Internet Connection: If you do not have a dedicated connection for your VoIP, you will need a router with a quality of service (QoS) setting. This will allow the router to prioritize voice traffic over regular Internet traffic.
- Additional Functions: Will your router also handle additional functions?
- Router to Modem Bridge: Routers that are not bridged can cause problems with voice-over-IP installations.
- Too Many Routers: Too much of a good thing is actually a bad thing. Never use more than one router or nat gateway on the network at a time as this will cause problems for IP Telephones when they attempt to do NAT.
Additional Factors to Consider
- Is your office equipped with a good battery backup to protect against power failures?
- Will voice traffic be separated from regular internet users or if it will share the same network?
- What type of VoIP equipment will you use?
If you have any questions about VoIP, please contact Advanced Communication Solutions by calling 1-800-750-3624 or visit BuyTelephoneSystem.com today!
ACS offers solutions and services that help you leverage the value of your business’s communications investment. From traditional voice to Voice over IP (VoIP), ACS gives you more options for voice and communication technology and solutions than any other provider.