VOIP 101

What is VoIP?  VoIP is an acronym for “Voice over Internet Protocol” and is the new means to make a telephone call using the LAN/WAN.

Why consider VoIP?  The two major factors driving the migration to VoIP are cost and quality.  The cost to acquire a VoIP service is low and the cost to make long distance calls is very low.  This represents a major cost savings over conventional analog telephone service as well as much better quality.

How is the quality better with VoIP?  Analog telephone line technology is an early twentieth century communications tool.  As such, the best quality that is achievable using analog telephone lines is a slim bandwidth between 300 Hz and 3,300 Hz (3,000 Hz total).  Today’s VoIP protocols have this 3,000 Hz bandwidth at a minimum but typically range from 3,000 Hz to 7,000 Hz.  A good VoIP service can produce a remarkably good voice quality and the G.722 codec is best sounding of the common VoIP codecs.

What is required to adopt VoIP?  All VoIP users will need an “endpoint” of some sort.  Conventional looking and functioning phones are one type of end point.  Other end points can be laptops and other PC driven devices.  The “endpoint” will need to connect to your LAN which in turn will connect to a VoIP service provider.  The VoIP service provider can be hosted locally by the business but is usually out-sourced to the world wide web.

What is a VoIP service provider?  A VoIP service provider is the server to which the end points register .  The server connects to the WWW and “sees” other servers to provide the point-to-point connection.  The most common VoIP server is the Cisco CUCM software which is housed in a variety of Cisco products. The CUCM  can be owned locally but is usually owned by a VoIP service provider. There are also other servers marketed by Avaya, Mitel and ShoreTel.

AVT is happy to offer the outsourced VoIP model to all customers not wanting to make the investment in the internally owned model.  This is a very cost effective solution.  However, be sure to budget 64k of bandwidth per desired connection with your internet provider.

What are the costs?  The monthly costs of a phone end point is usually between $5 and $30.

Technically, what is VoIP?  VoIP is a collection of internet based voice protocols.  The overall container protocols include:  SIP, SDP, RTP, H.323, and SCCP.  Within these protocols lie the media codecs such as G.711 and G.722 which contain the UDP voice packets.

What sort of information does the AV integrator need from your IT integrator in order to integrate a VoIP endpoint?  We need to know about your choice of endpoints and also about any existing VoIP infrastructure you have. Once we have this information, each end point requires a name and a password.

What features should be enabled with your VoIP phones?  Primary features are: Dial/Answer/Hold:Resume/Do not disturb:DND/Status of call.  Secondary features are:  Transfer, Conference and voice mail, ring groups, music on hold, and digital receptionist.

WHAT WE OFFER offers a wide range of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solutions. We are an authorized dealer and integrator of Poly VoIP and Cisco VoIP endpoints. We also offer fully-hosted VoIP service plans and phone numbers (or port over your existing phone number). Our pricing is extremely competitive and we offer fully customized packages to suit your business.

To get started on a managed VoIP solution, feel free to contact us.