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A beginner’s guide to VoIP technology

There are many details involved in a VoIP phone system, so it’s no wonder if many people are left baffled by what they’ve heard. However, once you’ve navigated the installation, you’ll start discovering new ways to use it to benefit your company.

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What the heck is VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol is a technology to transmit phone calls using the internet instead of old fashioned telephone wires. Instead of having a telephone account, you just use your broadband connection. This means no more phone bills and it makes new features available too.

Bigger companies used to operate their own phone exchanges (PBX) but VoIP gives anyone the advantages of a PBX without the additional equipment (another huge saving). Your phone system is hosted in “the Cloud” and you can route calls from your desktop. You can also integrate it with your Outlook address book, CRM system, or an enterprise management suite.

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Who can I call?

VoIP has “AZ termination” meaning it can connect any two points on Earth for the same near zero cost, (see https://www.idtexpress.com/blog/category/voice-termination/).

Where do I plug the phone in?

Your phones connect wirelessly with your broadband routers. You’ll soon forget they’re not plugged into a telephone point. You can simply pick them up and dial in the same way.

However, you can use these phones (or your own smartphone) to make a VoIP call from anywhere there is an internet connection. If your engineers are out in the field they can connect. If you move premises, you don’t have to wait for a telecom company to route new wiring through the building: once your broadband is on, you are back in business. That’s another huge saving.

You can even use VoIP without any phone at all. By installing a small app you can use the microphone and speaker in your laptop or desktop to make the call. Video calling is almost as easy using the built-in camera. Some free apps are listed here https://www.lifewire.com/apps-for-free-video-chat-3426695.

What’s the damage?

Installation costs are moderate. It is wise to ensure you get the support of a skilled installation company in the initial weeks, in case anomalies occur and while you learn to manage your own settings. Thereafter, running costs should show significant savings.

BT is fully committed to the new technology and is closing down the old networks in the near future.

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