Business Voice over IP has a sketchy reputation. If you speak to ten business owners, five might tell you to do something unnatural to yourself if you suggest they adopt the technology. That has more to do with the way VoIP is implemented than it does with any inherent deficiency of the telecom service. Today, almost every phone call made touches the internet at one point or another.
Here are five reasons you might be unhappy with your business Voice over IP phone service:
- Bring your own bandwidth: No matter what a SIP trunk or hosted VoIP sales rep tells you, you most likely won’t be happy with the results of placing a hosted VoIP phone system on a third party internet connection. That’s because, unless your VoIP provider can control the internet connection, there’s no way it can provide Quality of Service (QoS), the VoIP call quality standard. To deliver QoS certain variables related to an internet connection, including latency, jitter and throughput, must be kept in check. If your VoIP provider isn’t delivering your internet, they have no way to accomplish that. If you use different companies to provide your internet and phone service and you experience quality issues like dropped calls, echoey voice and delays, you won’t have any recourse. If you call your VoIP provider, they will tell you it’s your internet connection. If you call your internet service provider, they will say sorry but they’re not providing you with your VoIP.
- Your internal network isn’t set up correctly: Unless Class of Service (CoS), meaning voice and other real time traffic, like video, isn’t given priority over other traffic, your voice quality will suffer.
- Not enough bandwidth or non dedicated bandwidth: Do not attempt to implement Voice over IP on an old school DSL internet connection. Unless you have a Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-Verse or CenturyLink Pure Broadband connection, you’ll need to use a cable internet connection from a provider like Comcast, Time Warner or Cox or an internet T1. Internet T1’s only offer 1.5 Mbps of bandwidth but it’s dedicated and offers the synchronous bandwidth (same up and download speeds). But again, it’s best that your VoIP provider is also your ISP.
- The public internet: You can set up your internal network correctly but as soon as a phone call leaves your network, it will be traveling across the public internet and all bets are off. Larger companies utilize technology like Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) to privatize their wide area networks. Certain carriers have established their own private networks for their customers’ calls to ride on. But even if your company has a private wide area network or uses a carrier that provides the same, most calls will have to leave those networks to reach the call recipient. Just like with internet, where you’re only as fast as your slowest connection. With VoIP, your call quality is only as good as your call recipient’s call connection.
- Using a mass market VoIP provider: Services like Vonage and 8×8 were developed for the masses. They don’t deliver Quality of Service and expect that a percentage of their customers will be unhappy. These services were designed to save money, first and foremost. Stick to business class providers that stress call quality and offer service level agreements.
If your business would like assistance identifying a quality VoIP or Hosted VoIP provider and implementing the service, contact CarrierBid telecom consulting today or complete the form on the right side of this page.