VoIP or Fixed Lines for 2013? The Truth

Risk versus reward with voice over ip technology. Rob Scott explains the headline choices for small to medium sized business in 2013. Should buyers invest in traditional safe fixed lines or consider half priced VoIP lines?
Nov. 3, 2012 - PRLog -- It's the age of the Internet and modern phone systems are full of fun features like VoIP and SIP. To put it simply, you now have a choice. Stick with your conventional digital telephone lines or switch to VoIP lines which could save you potentially half of your line rental costs per month.

I get asked this question on a daily basis. You will be guessing by now I am in PBX sales or as most of us don't know what a PBX is, I sell telephone systems.

Since the 80s small businesses and large corporates have been choosing ISDN lines (ISDN2e and ISDN30) in the UK largely because of the availability from British Telecom and the reliability it offers. Additional features like caller display (CLI) and Direct Dial In numbers (DDI numbers) are standard on digital lines and therefore an attractive option when installing or upgrading to a new office telephone system.

Digital lines from BT can be installed into your office with ease and because they are fixed lines they offer a virtually fault free service to a business relying in telephone calls to conduct day to day business.

Nowadays businesses have a new kid on the block call SIP. This stands for session initiation protocol and is basically a regulated standard for delivering voice and video across an Internet connection.

SIP trunks are described as voice over IP lines and are readily available from most telecom carriers in the current marketplace. By choosing this option you need to ensure your phone system can support SIP trunking and you have technically checked your Internet connection for spare bandwidth.

Sounds simple but it's not. Many telecom companies are offering SIP but have no idea how to successfully implement the technology. Thus leaving many small businesses with bad quality lines and intermittent service.

The key to a successful SIP trunk endeavour is to omit the cost savings from your decision making. Ask yourself one question, would you risk your business for the sakes of half your line rental per month?

In actual fact the number of companies I ask that question they say quite directly "it's just not worth the hassle, let alone my job!"

Therefore the best way to attack SIP and voice over ip technology is to invest in a quality branded phone system like a Mitel Phone System and while your business is running good old ISDN lines buy some SIP trunk licences and try VoIP calls. The Mitel phone system can easily route outbound calls over the Internet first which will give you a clear indication whether your business and it's Internet connectivity is ready.

Remember the key to success is try it alongside your current fixed lines. This way you dip your toe in before you fall in and risk your business telephone calls.
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