Mythbusters: Can you rely on VoIP for Your Business?

November 23, 2011 - 1 Comment

When it comes to making technology decisions for your small business, there’s a lot of information to sift through. Sometimes, determining whether that information is accurate can be difficult. To help you separate fact from fiction, we’re launching a new monthly series called Mythbusters, in which we’ll tackle a common technology misconception.

In this first Mythbusters, we set the record straight about voice over IP, or VoIP, and whether it’s reliable for your business. Once upon a time, no business that wanted reliable phone service would have considered switching from a traditional analog phone system, or private branch exchange (PBX), to an IP-based solution. The call quality was inconsistent, including jitters (clicks and other undesired audio effects), delays, and drop outs.

VoIP call quality has improved significantly since those early days. The technologies are advanced enough to deliver calls that sound as good as plain old telephone service (POTS) calls and are equally responsive. To ensure reliable VoIP service, however, you need to consider your network or your service provider’s network. If you’re going to run VoIP in-house on your existing network, you need to make sure your equipment has enough bandwidth to handle the additional data load and that it provides quality-of-service (QoS) capabilities for prioritizing that traffic.

If you decide to outsource your VoIP service, make sure the provider carries voice traffic on its own private network. If the service provider runs voice traffic over the Internet, you’re more likely to experience degraded call quality due to jitters and packet loss.

VoIP has plenty of benefits to offer small businesses, including increased flexibility, reduced communications costs, and now, reliable call quality.

If there’s a technology misconception you’d like us to address, let us know!

Learn how VoIP is helping a small dental practice save money.

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  1. You hit the nail on the head. The quality and reliability of the carrier (ISP) is critical. I would also add, make sure sure you ask the carrier what voice redundancy plans they have. For example can they redirect calls to mobile (cell) phones or another office if the data/voice link goes down.

    Mark Elliott