When it comes to cutting the cord, consumers and companies are doing more than just switching from cable television providers to streaming-only devices and services.
Cord-cutting is extending to traditional business and residential landline telephone lines with a move towards VoIP.
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a technology, according to the Federal Communications Commission, that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line.
“The modern business landscape demands a global approach to communications,” says FinancesOnline.com. “This is why many companies have turned to Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP software to connect with stakeholders, staff remembers, and customers worldwide. Not only does it allow them to make communication more convenient, but it also enables them to make it more cost-effective as it doesn’t incur surcharges beyond what you pay for the VoIP service and your Internet access.”
Need for Speed: What VoIP Requires
The good news for would-be cord-cutters is that most high-speed Internet services can support VoIP with the minimum speed required for VoIP per call quite low between 90 and 156 kilobits per seconds (kbps).
Of course, call volume will dictate what Internet speed you need for VoIP.
If you have several simultaneous calls going in an office, the amount of data being transferred grows. It’s important that you have both fast download and upload speeds if you’re going to be running a telecommunications-intensive operation, such as a call center.
Also, if you will be doing HD calls or video calls, then your Internet speed will need to be great with some services recommending a minimum bandwidth of 1.2 mbps.
For residential users, most high-speed Internet set-ups will be able to support VoIP, but most homes may also be streaming video, playing games, and browsing the Internet at the same time.
Life in the Slow Lane: What If My Connection Isn’t Fast Enough for VoIP?
If your Internet isn’t fast enough for VoIP, you’ll probably experience a drop in call quality including:
- Calls may be grainy or may stutter.
- Calls may be dropped or take an unusually long time to connect.
Bottom line is that if your Internet isn’t stable or reliable enough for VoIP, you’ll experience such issues, in addition to frequently dropped calls.
Upgrading Your Broadband to Achieve VoIP Speeds
If you want to upgrade your Internet speeds for VoIP, there are a few things to consider.
For commercial VoIP installations, many businesses run a separate Internet line for their VoIP calls. This prevents VoIP call volume from being affected by data transfers.
A separate VoIP line tends to be more reliable and consistent, especially for businesses based on a high phone call volume.
Otherwise, a faster Internet connection can:
- Make VoIP calls clearer and more reliable.
- Makes for both better VoIP calling and better video calling.
- Facilitate overall company communication.
Making the Switch to VoIP
Businesses and enterprises switching from traditional telecommunications infrastructure to VoIP may not have Internet speed in mind as it’s usually more important to maintain your internal network infrastructure.
This can be established through SIP trunking, which utilizes a company’s existing internal telecommunications infrastructure but connects it to the Internet rather than traditional telecom lines.
In this set-up, your company gets to benefit from its existing resources while also switching to faster, more reliable and less expensive online services.
Testing (Your Speed) 1 … 2 … 3 …
If you want to make sure your current Internet can support VoIP, you can test your Internet speeds by running a Speed Test in your office or at home to see if your speed is enough to support VoIP.
A rule of thumb: A speed of 1 Gbps is generally enough to maintain 10 to 12 simultaneous calls.
To really know whether your business can support VoIP, you will usually need to have an estimate of the number of calls that employees are often on at the same time.
You may also need to go through your other Internet data usage and decide on whether you want to split your lines or use a single line for both data and voice.
Are you interested in VoIP calling? Switching to VoIP can save you money while also delivering a faster, streamlined voice calling service.
To find out whether your current Internet speeds can support VoIP, contact the experts at PS LIGHTWAVE today.