VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has become increasingly popular amongst business enterprises – regardless of their size and scale of operations – because of its multifarious features that help improve business communications and overall productivity.
Business houses have realized that they no longer need a wired telephone landline to make calls. The fact remains that VoIP has opened up all sorts of possibilities and the features they offer are just not possible with wired landlines.
VoIP facility has been around for many years now, but there have been some noteworthy technology advancements in recent times as also a steady increase in the number of service providers.
Both cell phone and landline plans are mostly sold on airtime but extra features like call waiting, call display, or voice mail are additionally chargeable features. But with VoIP all these features and many more are included in their standard pricing that is a lot more reasonable.
The procedure to avail VoIP facility is quite simple provided you have a high speed internet connection. A VoIP phone uses an existing high speed internet connection – Cable, ADSL, office LAN, etc- to make phone calls over the internet. No special equipment is necessary and you can use a regular telephone.
Your voice, instead of going through a wired landline connection, is digitized by a VoIP interface and then is transmitted over the internet. It is inconsequential whether the caller at the other end has a regular landline, cellular phone, or another VoIP connection.
There are, of course, many VoIP service providers available but for you to fully derive all the benefits of VoIP features, it is essential that you choose a reputed and reliable VoIP service provider with a sound track record.
Signing up with a VoIP service provider is no different from signing up with a landline service provider or a cellular provider. They charge you a monthly subscription, but provide you with some hardware to use the VoIP service. VoIP service providers will supply free, rent, or sell outright an interface box that you then plug in both a regular landline phone and a high speed internet connection.
A VoIP interface box typically contains connections for 2 telephone lines (RJ45), 2 network lines (CAT5), and power supply.
When signing up for VoIP facility, the VoIP service provider will assign you a number based on the area code you – preferably the local area code of where you are situated, but that will not forbid you from requesting virtually any area code within the country.
VoIP service has portability advantage because all you need is the interface box and a high speed internet connection. You can carry your interface box and use your VoIP services in any part of the world if there is high speed Internet facility.
But your existing Internet Service Provider (ISP) must allow you at least 2 IP addresses as your VoIP phone will require a dedicated address all to itself and the second IP address would be used by your computer (or router and several computers).
The norm is the VoIP service provider will offer you either a set amount of outgoing airtime per month or an unlimited airtime plan. In any case, the incoming calls are provided free. Many VoIP service providers also offer business plans that require higher amounts of airtime.