Chances are you’ve heard of VoIP (Voice over IP) as an alternative to traditional business phone lines that cost an arm and a leg. But have you ever wondered how VoIP actually works?
As a successful business owner, you’re always looking for new ways to cut your costs and prioritize spending. You’re in charge of making decisions on all kinds of services including payroll services, shipping and merchant services.
It’s nearly impossible to be an expert in every one of these industries, no matter how hard you try.
You may have a business partner who saves a lot of money using VoIP at their company. But before you jump into it yourself, you’d like to know how VoIP works and if it’s really for you.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a much better idea.
Let’s dive in.
How VoIP Works at a Glance
How this technology works is a mystery to a lot of business owners and employees. But when you gain an understanding of exactly what it does, you can start to use the technology to your advantage.
To start boiling it down, VoIP takes analog voice phone calls and converts them into packets of data. These data packets travel like any other data you’re familiar with (such as e-mail) over the open Internet and/or a private Internet Protocol (IP) networks.
When you use a VoIP service, you can freely call cell phones and land lines of any kind. In addition, you can make computer-to-computer calls with both callers speaking into their computer mics and listening through headsets or speakers.
It’s important to remember that you can receive and make regular phone calls using landline telephones. All you’ll need is an analog adapter that’s connected to your existing network.
If you want to achieve the best security and sound quality, think about using your VoIP on a private IP network.
Why VoIP Works Great for Business
When you add voice to your data network, you’ll improve productivity, reduce overall costs and enhance collaboration.
VoIP will help you save money because now you only have to manage one network instead of two.
You can easily move, add or change phone locations and extensions on your own without needing to “call in” and make requests to the company that manages your voice systems.
This saves you money and gives you a lot more flexibility.
Another huge benefit is that your employees can use the communications system from anywhere. They don’t need to be in the office. It can be used from home or when they’re traveling.
Wireless VoIP phones also connect employees to your communications system and resources (like customer data information) anywhere at any time. They can be on the sales floor, in the warehouse or anywhere else and still connect to data wirelessly.
Want to go beyond basic VoIP? Unified communications solutions can even further enhance collaboration.
With unified communications solutions, your employees can collaborate through voice, web conferences, video chats and instant messaging.
This can be done through one simple interface and can all be used simultaneously.
How Does SIP Trunking Fit Into This?
First, you’ll need to know what SIP trunking is. SIP stands for Session Initiated Protocol. It’s the way you achieve a VoIP phone call.
SIP is an application layer protocol that sets up sessions of audio and/or video between endpoints (typically phones) in real time. To state it simply, SIP technology creates, modifies and terminates each session of one or more parties within an IP network. This is true for two-way calling or larger conference calls.
A SIP trunk is like an analog phone line, but in the virtual world. Using a SIP trunk, a provider connects one, two or thirty different channels directly to your PBX (Private Branch Exchange).
This allows you to make any kind of call directly over the internet, including:
- Long distance
For users that have a PBX on-site, SIP trunks will connect directly to you and allow you to make all outbound calls on the system you already have in place, without any restrictions on how many concurrent calls are made.
How Much Will SIP Trunking Cost Me?
The answer to that will vary based on the individual needs of your business.
Generally speaking, you can expect to pay a set-up fee anywhere from $0 – $150. Monthly fees tend to vary, but typically fall between $25 – $50 per month, per trunk.
There are SIP trunking providers that offer metered plans as well as channelized plans.
A metered plan is charged on your individual usage. Each minute will incur its own charge.
Metered trucking is highly flexible. There are zero limitations on how many concurrent calls that can be made. You’re only charged for each minute of each call, much like traditional phone services.
Metered service allows your business flexibility. You only pay for what you use.
Channelized SIP trunking is an option that’s pre-paid. It allows you unlimited outbound and inbound local and long distance calling on a per call/channel basis.
Each channel you have gives you the ability to receive or make an individual call. Once all channels are filled, you won’t be able to receive or make any additional calls in that moment.
If you need to add more channels, you can do so by getting in touch with your provider.
This SIP trunking service gives businesses the ability to easily budget telecom spending.
What’s the number of Concurrent Calls That Can Be Made On a Metered SIP Trunk?
Your limitation is based upon Internet bandwidth capacity.
Every non-compressed phone call uses about 85 kbps of bandwidth. In a typical internet connection, your upload speed is slower than your download speed. When you want to determine how many calls your connection can support, always use your upload speed.
For example, if your upload speed is 4mbps, the maximum number of concurrent calls that could be made would be 47 (4,000,000 divided by 85,000).
How VoIP Works to Improve the Flow of Communication
Gone are the days of expensive business landlines. It’s time to embrace VoIP with SIP trunking as the 21st-century solution to communications.
When you’re ready to start using VoIP with SIP trunking, you can start a free trial that’ll show you what it can do for your business.
We’re confident it is the solution you’ve been looking for.