Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a term used to describe voice communications occurring over the Internet. The concept of Voice over IP was first published in a paper by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) titled “A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection” in 1974. But it wasn’t until 2004 that Voice over IP was introduced to the mass market. Today, Voice over Internet Protocol is a widely used telecommunications technology supporting both residential and business phone systems.
A Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is a telephone exchange supporting a particular network of phone systems. This is opposed to a common carrier supporting many companies or residents at the same time. In most cases, the PBX is an IP-based PBX, communicating with all endpoints over IP, but it may just as well be a traditional digital or analog PBX. The sole requirement is that it is an interface that allows for the routing of calls.
Voice over IP Private Branch Exchange (VoIP PBX) is a telephone switch that converts Internet based phone calls into circuit-switched TDM connections. A VoIP PBX also works with analog and digital telephones. There are two types of VoIP PBX systems, those that are hosted and those that are not hosted. When a VoIP PBX system is not hosted, it is managed by the business which is utilizing the PBX. This means that the company has to employ staff to manage the system. Traditional non-hosted VoIP PBX systems are often utilized by large enterprises with one thousand employees or more. Businesses of this size often have a dedicated IT staff on hand, making it easier for them to manage the complexities involved with managing their own VoIP PBX system.
Hosted VoIP PBX
Hosted Voice over IP Private Branch Exchange (Hosted VoIP PBX) is an Internet based phone system connected to a private branch exchange system which is hosted, or managed by a third party. Because a Hosted Voice over IP Private Branch Exchange (hosted VoIP PBX) system is managed by a third party the PBX system is often located in a remote and safe location opposed to on the businesses premise. In addition, many times the hosted VoIP PBX provider is also a VoIP service provider. Businesses often value hosted VoIP PBX systems because they are more hands-off than IP-PBX systems, as everything is managed by the hosting company.
Business VoIP is a term used to refer to VoIP services specifically created for businesses. A business VoIP service is different than residential VoIP service, which is meant for home use. Business VoIP services often have specific VoIP features to support that business. Also, many times the business VoIP service will be customized to best service that company. When choosing a business VoIP service, the company has the option to select a premise based VoIP solution or a hosted VoIP PBX. Hosted VoIP PBX solutions are becoming increasingly popular due to cost savings and better feature offerings.
Telecommuting is the act of a remote employee using telecommunications technology in order to interact with an employer or office environment opposed to physically working in the office. With advances in hosted VoIP technology telecommuting is becoming increasing popular. Telecommuters can now easily plug in a VoIP phone and access all of the same telecom technology that they can while at the office. Benefits of telecommuting include reduction of travel expense, savings on office space costs and utilities, and the ability to pull from a greater talent pool.
Bandwidth is the rate of data transfer which your Internet service provider enables. In order to have a quality hosted VoIP call, you need to have an Internet connection which supports the data transfer. Some services offer a specialized connection to provide reassurance that the data will be transferred at an optimal rate. Other providers allow you the luxury of choosing your own Internet Service Provider. While there are pros and cons to either decision, when considering case of call quality, you must ensure that you choose an Internet service which supports the data transfer which your hosted VoIP PBX demands.
Packet Loss occurs when the maximum capacity of bandwidth is reached and an Internet connection becomes overloaded with data or traffic. Packet loss sounds like an echo when speaking on a VoIP phone. Your hosted VoIP PBX should not allow for more than 1 or 2% of packet loss, and obviously the less the better. If you are experiencing packet loss than you should consider cutting down on tasks which overload your VoIP service. You may also consider looking into higher quality hosted VoIP services like FreedomIQ.
Latency refers the routes call data must travel over the internet and through network connections to reach your hosted VoIP service provider. When you make a call using your hosted VoIP service, that data is broken up into little packets and dispersed through certain channels of the Internet. Latency is the time between the moment a voice packet is transmitted and the moment it reaches its destination.
Jitter can be recognized by a delay in your speech and/or the speech of the person you are speaking to. Jitter occurs because the packets of voice data are received at the wrong time. Jitter can occur due to power surges, bandwidth congestion, or other irregularities in the system. If your hosted VoIP service provider has not perfected their system, there is a good chance you could be subject to jitter.