Choosing between traditional and IP-telephony, companies increasingly prefer the second option. It allows you to combine branches and remote employees into one network, reduce communication costs and improve the quality of communications.
We will tell you what IP telephony is, how it works and how to connect it.
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What is IP telephony and how does it work
IP telephony is a technology of voice communication over the Internet, which is carried out using the Internet Protocol (IP).
During the call, the voice message of one user is digitized and sent to the cloud PBX (automatic telephone exchange) in the form of a data packet. Another user’s gadget recognizes the signal, decodes the information, and transforms the data into ordinary speech.
The signal is transmitted through ready-made communication channels, so there is no need to lay telephone lines. A cloud PBX user can connect to a city telephone network or mobile station.
The technology is used to organize the work of call centers and sales departments. With its help, it is convenient to interact with remote employees, branches, and divisions of the company in other cities.
IP telephony connection diagrams
There are three schemes for connecting IP telephony, which differ in the set of necessary equipment:
- computer – computer;
- computer – telephone;
- telephone – telephone.
Let’s consider them in more detail.
Computer – computer
To enable users to talk, install SoftPhone, a special software for voice communication, on their computers and provide headsets. Data exchange takes place through the provider’s server.
Computer – telephone
This method is suitable for organizing communication between company employees and clients. Rent a number from your provider that you can use to set up forwarding of incoming calls to landline or mobile phones. Additional devices are not required. To connect your phone to an IP network, use a dedicated router and VoIP gateway.
Phone – phone
An IP phone with IP PBX connectivity is required. Outwardly, it resembles an ordinary device, it can be rented or bought from a provider. If you have a SIP adapter, you can connect to an IP network with a regular phone.
How to choose a provider
When choosing an IP telephony provider, pay attention to:
- The ability to use your own equipment. Often, providers offer not only the service, but also the devices themselves at a fairly high price. If you have your own adapters, SIP phones, and other devices, check with your service provider to see if they can be used and save on your purchase.
- Security level. Data transmission over the Internet is always fraught with risks, for example, DDoS attacks. Check with your provider what technologies they use to protect information.
- Functionality. IP telephony is not only communication, but also integration with CRM, call recording, voice mail, call forwarding, and other possibilities. Check with your provider which of the following they offer.
Consider your business goals and budget to make the right choice.
IP telephony cost
Providers offer two payment options for IP telephony:
- Monthly subscription fee. Its size depends on the number of connected numbers and users.
- Per-minute billing. You pay for the actual call time. Each provider has its own cost per minute.
When connecting to IP telephony, you need to rent or buy equipment, as well as a direct virtual number to receive incoming calls from landline and mobile phones. There are no other costs.
Connecting and configuring IP telephony
Sign a contract with a provider. It usually takes no more than a week to discuss details and agree on legal formalities. Install the required software and configure communication with the server.
To connect SIP phones to the network, specify the login, password, and server data provided by the provider in the built-in menu or web interface. Assign numbers to the connected devices.
To configure SoftPhone, install the appropriate program and enter the login, password, and server name, which are also issued by the provider.
The specifics of configuring the program depend on the specific provider. The standard sequence of actions looks like this:
- Download the software from the official website of the service provider.
- Run the program and provide it with the SIP ID for authorization.
- Register in your personal account on the provider’s website.
- Go to the “Settings” section and select the SIP connection.
- Enter login and password.
- Scan SIP data in the app.
- Wait for the connection.
Even in your personal account, you can view information about connected numbers and balance and receive warnings about communication problems.
Connecting to a router
To connect your phone to a router, insert a LAN cable into a free port. The server will then assign an address to the phone. Next, activate the web interface and configure the equipment.
Benefits of IP telephony
Saving your budget. IP telephony allows employees within the company to communicate for free, wherever they are. For calls to other regions, providers offer low tariff plans. In addition, you do not have to pay for the laying of telephone lines and PBX maintenance.
The ability to expand the local network. New lines and devices can be connected to IP telephony in just a couple of clicks. You do not need to redo the telephone wiring for this.
Increased customer loyalty. When you change the actual address of the company, IP telephony allows you to keep the old phone number. Customers will get through to the managers immediately after the move, and they will not have to memorize a new combination of numbers.
Briefly about the main thing
- IP telephony allows you to talk on the phone if you have Internet access.
- To connect it, sign an agreement with a provider, buy or rent equipment and install the necessary software. Setup is quick and easy.
- You will save the budget for telephone calls, ensure high-quality communication with remote employees and between branches.
- You can choose a convenient option for calculating with the provider – per-minute tariffication or a monthly fee.