If you're a business just getting started with VoIP, you most likely have many questions - from how it works to its benefits and features. So we've compiled the most common questions we receive here at T2k from others who have been in the same position as you. With those questions, we've provided the most comprehensive answer so that you can better understand VoIP, how it works and what it can do for your business.
Can't find the answers you're looking for? Get in touch with T2k today, where our team of experts are here to help you gain a better understanding of VoIP before you invest.
1. What is VoIP?
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a communication technology that enables the transmission of voice and multimedia content over the internet instead of using traditional analogue phone lines.
VoIP converts voice signals into digital data packets, which are then transmitted over IP networks. This means that when contacting a conventional phone number, the call converts into a regular telephone signal before reaching its designated destination.
VoIP offers many advantages over traditional phone systems, and users can make calls using various devices. This revolutionary technology has significantly transformed communication, making it more cost-effective (explained later in FAQs 5 and 11) and a top choice for businesses of multiple sizes.
2. Why choose VoIP over traditional landlines?
There are many reasons why you would want to consider VoIP over traditional landlines, especially as a business. First and foremost, VoIP is much cheaper than VoIP as calls are conducted using the internet, which tends to be more affordable, especially for long-distance calling (more explained in FAQ 11). They also allow businesses to scale quickly, making it easier to add additional lines when needed.
VoIP also integrates well with other communication and collaboration tools, making it much easier to enhance productivity and efficiency. It includes extra essential features such as video conferencing and SMS, making it a highly effective tool for meeting various internal and external communication demands.
We could go on about the vast benefits of VoIP, but for a more comprehensive insight into its advantages, check out the blog: What's all the fuss about VoIP?
But in short, VoIP is an excellent option if you're looking for a reliable and cost-effective system. Traditional landlines are only capable of so much, and with the impending "Big Switch Off" - which refers to the switch off of BT's ISDN and PSTN networks in 2025 - it's a wise choice to invest in VoIP rather than a traditional landline if you haven't already done so.
3. Can I keep my existing phone number when switching to VoIP?
In many cases, yes, you can keep your existing phone number when switching to VoIP. Transferring your phone number from a traditional landline to a VoIP service is called "number porting." Most VoIP providers, including us as T2K, offer number porting services to facilitate a seamless transition for customers.
However, certain conditions may apply, depending on your location, the type of phone number you have and the regulations of your current phone service provider. You must check with your chosen VoIP provider to understand their specific number porting procedures and any associated costs or requirements. Generally, though, the ability to retain your existing phone number is a standard feature offered by reputable VoIP service providers.
4. Can I use my number when travelling?
Yes, absolutely! One of the many benefits of VoIP is that you can take your business number wherever you go, as long as you have an internet connection. This makes it a desirable option for businesses with remote workers or those travelling a lot. It doesn't matter where you're located; you can always receive communications on your device with your business phone number.
Plus, it's a real cost-saver, as using your VoIP number while travelling can help you avoid expensive roaming charges that might apply to traditional phone services. It's a win-win!
5. Is VoIP cheaper than traditional phone services?
Yes, VoIP is generally cheaper than traditional phone services, mainly because they do not have the infrastructure that comes with landlines. Not only that but as VoIP uses the internet to transmit calls, this is typically more cost-effective than using traditional telephone lines.
On the other hand, you must consider that the actual cost savings may vary depending on your business needs for factors such as your call volume and required features. But in most cases, VoIP offers a more budget-friendly alternative to traditional phone services. Therefore it will most likely save your business money in the long run. If you are looking for advice on whether VoIP will save you money, get in contact with us today.
6. What are VoIP’s most useful features for businesses?
The great thing about VoIP is that you can select many advanced features that best suit your business needs, and it can utilise many features that aim to make your business operations more manageable. As every business is unique, it's challenging to whittle down the most valuable features VoIP can provide. We've got it down to a few of the most popular features businesses tend to use, but if you're looking for more personalised advice, contact us today.
- Virtual receptionist: An automated system that answers and routes incoming calls, providing callers with menu options to direct their call to the appropriate person or department.
- Conference calling: A feature that enables multiple participants to join a call simultaneously. This helps to facilitate remote collaboration and group discussions.
- Call routing and forwarding: Directing incoming calls to specific extensions or phone numbers based on predefined rules, ensuring calls reach the intended recipient.
- Voicemail to email transcription: Automatically converting voicemail messages into text format and sending them to the recipient's email for easy access and management.
- Music on hold: Playing recorded music or messages to entertain and inform callers while they wait on hold during a call.
- Call analytics: Gathering and analysing call-related data to gain essential call insights, helping businesses optimise their communication strategies.
- Unified communications: Integrating various communication channels (e.g. voice, video, messaging) into a single platform, promoting seamless collaboration and efficient information exchange among team members.
7. How is the voice clarity of VoIP?
The voice clarity of VoIP can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the internet connection, the hardware and software used and your service provider. But in most cases, if you have a stable and high-speed internet connection, your modern VoIP systems can provide excellent voice clarity - even topping the quality you would receive from a traditional landline.
But, if you have poor internet connectivity or network congestion, occasional issues may affect the overall voice clarity. So when investing in VoIP, you must ensure you have a reliable internet connection and use quality VoIP hardware and services to achieve the best voice clarity possible.
8. What equipment do I need for VoIP?
To set up VoIP in your business, you'll need the following equipment. But before purchasing any equipment, verify with your chosen VoIP service provider for specific hardware and software compatibility requirements.
- Internet connection: A high-speed, reliable internet connection is essential for VoIP to work effectively.
- VoIP-compatible phones: You can use VoIP-specific phones designed to work with VoIP systems. These phones connect directly to your internet network; some may require a power source or use Power over Ethernet technology.
- Analog telephone adapter: If you prefer to continue using traditional analogue phones, you can use an ATA to convert the analogue signals to digital signals. Before investing, check to see if your telephone is compatible.
- Computer or mobile device: VoIP services often come with software applications that allow you to make and receive calls using your computer or mobile device. This option is helpful for remote work and when you're away from your physical office.
- Headsets: Depending on your setup and preferences, you may want to invest in headsets for improved audio quality during VoIP calls.
9. Can I use VoIP with my existing phone system?
Yes, in most cases, you can use VoIP with your existing phone system by using an Analog Telephone Adapter. The ATA connects to your current analogue phones and converts those signals to digital, allowing them to work with VoIP service.
Before investing in an ATA, check that your current phone system is compatible. If you need help with how to proceed, consulting with a VoIP service provider or a telecommunications expert can help you determine the best approach for your specific needs.
10. Do I need a high-speed internet connection for VoIP?
Yes, a high-speed internet connection is essential for VoIP to work effectively and provide good call quality, as it relies on the internet to transmit signals.
The minimum recommended internet speed for VoIP is typically around 100 kbps (both upload and download) per concurrent call, but higher processing is recommended for better performance.
If your internet connection is slow or unreliable, it may result in an unsatisfactory call experience. So check your internet rates before investing in VoIP and consider an upgrade if results are below 100kbps.
11. Does VoIP save businesses money?
Absolutely! VoIP can save your business a lot of money, whether you are a small company or a large corporation. Here are some of the ways in which VoIP can save bucks for your business:
- Reduced call costs: Calls transmitted over the internet can significantly reduce long-distance and international call charges compared to traditional phone systems.
- Eliminating separate phone lines: VoIP operates over the existing internet connection, eradicating the need for separate phone lines and associated maintenance costs.
- Scalability and flexibility: VoIP systems can efficiently scale up or down to accommodate changing business needs without requiring significant hardware changes or additional costs.
- Unified communications: VoIP integrates voice, video and messaging into a single platform, reducing the need for multiple communication tools and potentially lowering subscription costs.
- Remote work savings: VoIP supports remote work, which can help reduce office space and overhead costs for businesses.
12. Can I use VoIP on my mobile device?
Yes, you can use VoIP on your mobile device if it is internet-ready, as many VoIP service providers offer mobile apps. By installing the app and logging in with your VoIP account, you can use your mobile device to access VoIP services.
13. What is SIP?
SIP (or Session Initiation Protocol) is a signalling protocol essential for VoIP communication. It is vital in managing multimedia system communication sessions, such as video conferencing, in VoIP setups.
In short, SIP facilitates the initiation, maintenance and termination of online communication sessions, enabling seamless multimedia communication in VoIP applications.
14. What is a softphone, and how does it work?
A softphone is a software application that allows users to make phone calls over the internet using a computer, tablet or mobile. It will enable these devices to make and receive calls rather than dedicated hardware.
15. Can VoIP work during power outages?
VoIP relies on the internet to work, and the internet requires power to operate - so without power, VoIP will not work. However, the good news is that there are many ways that you can keep your VoIP working during a power outage. To ensure that power outages don't affect your business communications, we recommend creating a strategy, so your team knows the plan in case the unexpected happens.
Read our blog, How to keep connected to VoIP during a power outage, for more information on this topic.
16. What are the typical costs associated with VoIP implementation?
The cost of installing VoIP can differ based on factors like business size, network complexity and the chosen VoIP solution. While there might be upfront expenses for hardware and implementation, the long-term savings usually outweigh the initial investment.
Investing in VoIP is worthwhile due to the potential for substantial long-term savings. For an estimate on your business's VoIP installation cost, contact us today to speak with one of our advisors.
17. What is the difference between a public and private VoIP network?
The main difference between a public and private VoIP network lies in their accessibility and ownership:
- Public VoIP Network: This is provided and maintained by third-party service providers for public use. These networks are accessible to the general public and are often used for personal and business.
- Private VoIP Network: This is an internal communication system implemented and controlled by an organisation for its exclusive use. It operates within the business's private network infrastructure, often using the internet or dedicated data lines.
If you're a smaller business, a public VoIP network will most likely suit you best. But if you're a larger business that wants to facilitate secure and cost-effective communication among the company, then a private VoIP network may be the best option for you.
18. How do I choose the right VoIP service?
To select the appropriate VoIP service for your business, we advise evaluating your business needs and creating a comprehensive plan incorporating essential features into your communication system. Whether that be call recording, analytics or video conferencing, note these down within your strategy. This will help you make an informed decision on different service options on the market.
Once you've determined your requirements, make sure to do your research to find the best VoIP provider that fulfils these needs.
19. How do I get started with VoIP?
Getting started with VoIP is much simpler than you think! To get started with VoIP, research and choose a reliable VoIP service provider that aligns with your business requirements. Ensure you have a stable, high-speed internet connection to support VoIP calls effectively. Select the appropriate VoIP phones or equipment, such as IP phones or an ATA for existing phones, depending on your needs.
After signing up with the VoIP provider, follow their instructions to set up your VoIP system. Test the system, make necessary adjustments and provide training to your team to ensure a smooth transition. Once everything is in place, you can enjoy VoIP's cost-effective and efficient communication benefits for your business.
Ready to get started with VoIP? T2k is here to help
Are you ready to get started and upgrade your phone system? Then we're here to help you get on track for improving your communication operations.
Do you have a question that's not on this list? Then contact us at T2k to speak to one of our agents, where we are happy to answer any questions you have and take the jargon out of the conversation. We're here to help you discover more about how you can make the most out of your phone system and get on track to streamlining your communications.
Frequently Asked Questions
What VoIP phone systems do T2k offer?
How can I get in touch with T2k to inquire about VoIP services?
Does T2k offer customised VoIP solutions for specific business needs?
Yes, we understand that every business is unique and may have specific communication requirements, so we offer customised VoIP solutions tailored to meet your organisation's particular needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find the perfect communication system for your company.