The benefits of IP telephony (IPT) are now increasingly understood, and as offerings proliferate, we are starting to see wider scale adoption become reality across all types of business. But has the move to IPT been all it’s cracked up to be? Are problems around service and call quality still causing major headaches? What model …
Good article but surely the cruical question needs to be on what access the IPT is delivered over as this is the key to performance and reliabilty.
Business Users only?
I'm about to ditch BT for a purely VOIP solution at home after a few months of running in tandem. I worked out that my triple pack of fancy new VOIP dect. phones would pay for themselves in a year.
The difference in quality is not really worth mentioning, reliability is as good as your cable connection.
@Business Users only?
"The difference in quality is not really worth mentioning, reliability is as good as your cable connection."
Which is unfortunate if you are stuck with cablevision as a provider. Outages abound.
I don't know about you but...
I don't know anyone who uses voip. I have several devices all or which are voip capable, yet even with all of this promotion of Skype and other voip services I have yet to meet anyone with a voip number. Maybe that says something about my life, or theirs... Maybe I should get out more.....
@ AC 18:26
That is indeed an issue. Most VoIP users are using it internally (ie between a closed group of friends/relatives), or are simply using it in place of traditional phone lines and just have a normal public phone number.
At work we have a number of VoIP lines with 'ordinary' phone numbers, and a fully IP internal system connecting both office users and remote/home workers. We have several customers that use VoIP so they can have cheap calls within the family when they are spread out round the world.
ENUM should, in theory, in time, allow for transparent re-routing of calls via VoIP (or other services). If it ever takes off, you'll be able to dial a phone number, and the ENUM lookup will allow your VoIP system to find out that it can route the call via VoIP instead of via the PSTN.
ditto@using it at home, i found the cost savings from line rental significant (on cable so didn't have to have a phone line anyway like ADSL users), saved a lot of money over the last 3+ years since i switched, and all anyone else knows is i have a normal phone on a normal 01 number - they don't know or care that it's delivered over VoIP
it also has the added benefit that unlike an old POTS line, i can use logic to control call operations - for example i have a few phone numbers it identifies and dumps directly to the answering machine (head office for example, they only ever call me at home to ask me to work!), and a few others (repeated silent calls, repeated calls from companies i don't want to talk to, etc) that just get an engaged tone
it also emails me a copy of the answering machine messages as well as appearing on the phone, which is useful when i'm away from home (i could of course also take the phone with me, or have it divert to my mobile, but i'd rather not to be honest)
however i did find a slight problem only this week - there was a problem with my internet account with my ISP, which posed a slight problem calling them to get it resolved...
It's easier than people think
I set up my home VOIP service using Trixbox on an old PC that I was retiring from normal use and it's now my major telephone service. Voice calls are cheaper than BT and it comes with features that you would have to pay through the nose for from an ordinary PSTN setup (IVR, fax to email etc etc)
Only problem is that it can be tricky for a novice to set up. On the other hand when I talk to businesses about swithing to a VOIP service they all seem convinced that it is an extremely expensive way to go. When I demonstrate how cheap it is they seem amazed at the idea.
Great features, poor reliability, poor security
I was pleasantly surprised by the flexibility of the features offered by VOIP.
The installation and configuration of a VOIP Adapter was complex, but eventually overcome.
Yet I've found the reliability issues hard to tolerate... disconnections, calls ending unexpectedly, silent/muted calls.
If cost is your main concern, particularly for international calls, VOIP is much cheaper.
Given the Phorm affair, I'd much prefer that my provider were using SRTP (so crooked ISPs like British Telecom can't monitor my VOIP calls and sell marketing intelligence to Turkish/Russian criminals).