Tuesday, 31 December 2013

VoIP Hosted PBX and Mobile VoIP for 2014

Adoption of VoIP telephony is growing fast in Hong Kong and Singapore. This past year has seen Cloud Solutions increasing their VoIP customers by over 500%.

If you are starting a new business then VoIP is the only choice as the flexibility VoIP offers far outweighs the traditional PSTN telephone systems.

While we have seen the traditional telephone providers dropping their land-line price to keep those price sensitive clients, however it is always going to be worth investing more for VoIP if  there was a choice.

So what are the difference?

VoIP is voice over IP, with IP being a reference to the Internet or IP based networks. The changes in your office mean that phones now plug into the same network socket (RJ45) as your computers. And yes there are WiFi IP phones available, they are not yet main stream, however cordless phones using DECT technology are. The DECT phones are the same concept as the home phones that connect back to a base unit and provide a cordless phone experience.

So if you have an existing telephone system you would need to replace the phones to new IP phones which will connect into your computer network and become a device just like your computers and printers.

Yealink T46G - Top VoIP Phone in 2013
This also now means your phones communicate with the outside world via your broadband or internet connection. There is no longer a need to wait for your telecom provider to install specific lines into your office. In other words, your office phone number(s) is no longer tied or connected to a single socket on the wall in your office. This relationship is now broken and thus introduces the flexibility a small business demands. For example if you start working from a home office or business center, and then move to your own office, all that is required is an Internet connection and once your IP phone is plugged in it will ring.  This also covers a disaster recovery situation, if a business needs to move premises overnight, the phone will ring the moment they are plugged in and have Internet access from any location in the world!

Is the Voice Quality Better than Skype?

VoIP uses different algorithms to compress the audio or sound stream. When setting up your IP phones you can select your preferred compress settings. We use High Definition (HD) voice which is a superior sound quality than your traditional PSTN phone system. The sound quality with VoIP is excellent as a wider sound wave is delivered giving a full sound experience similar to what you may experience when watching an HD video with surround sound. So yes, the quality is better than your old PSTN phones and Skype.

The VoIP phone system itself is clever enough to accommodate a phone using HD while connected to someone on an old traditional phone, the sound transformation happens in real-time.

How Do You Connect a IP-PBX to the Telephone Network?

Cloud Solutions only offers cloud hosted IP-PBX's. This means the connect to the PSTN or public telephone network is done via the Internet and a SIP Provider. The IP-PBX is connected to the SIP Provider via a SIP Trunk (like a VPN connection). A single SIP Trunk can be single or multi channel and it is the channel that determines how many concurrent calls you can make. It is possible for a single multi-channel Trunk to support up to 150 concurrent calls.  So the role of the SIP Provider is to provide a gateway or connection between the IP world and the old phone PSTN world. In years to come everyone will be on an IP network so calls can be made direct to another party without it connecting to the SIP Provider or PSTN. While this is possible today, most people still connect to VoIP users via a PSTN. 

Users can have a URI or phone address like an email address, so calling sip:sales@cloudsolutions.asia would be the same as +8523973848 thus removing any geographic location or country code. Phones still have issues with entering letters so numbers are still easier to input but if you work from a computer you can simply type the URI into the softphone to reach the other party.

What about Features and Functions?

CloudPBX or our hosted IP-PBX supports a wide range of features that are not available with old phone systems. Below are some of the feature you can enjoy. 

    ✓ Unified Voicemail✓ Do Not Disturb
    ✓ Call Forward✓ Extension Dialling
    ✓ Call Hold✓ Multiple Phone support
    ✓ Call waiting✓ Direct Dial Numbers
    ✓ Call Screening Lists✓  Pick Up Group
    ✓  Follow me up to 20 numbers✓  Music On Hold
    ✓  Fax to email✓  Auto attendant
    ✓  Distinctive Ringing✓  Remote inquiry for voicemail
    ✓  Caller ID Blocking✓  Short code dialing
    ✓  Inbound automatic

To learn more about VoIP please visit our web site www.cloudpbx.asia or contact us at anytime.