If you’ve been looking at introducing VoIP as a solution to outdated business communications, you’ll likely have spent considerable time researching the benefits of VoIP online.
While switching to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) provides a business with far greater unified communications potential than traditional phone systems, the information available online is either highly technical, or much of the same information reaffirming the value it can offer.
In our latest blog, the team at Cloud Edge will look at a few of the technical aspects behind VoIP capabilities, and how these translate to the value you’ll receive in return for your business and employees.
What does VoIP do differently from traditional phone systems?
First, let’s talk about how traditional phone systems work and transfer information.
The public switched telephone network (PSTN) is how businesses have communicated for many years now. This encompasses the world’s collection of circuit-switched telephone networks, which use copper cables to connect calls, and you’ll have read plenty about as New Zealand has made the switch from ‘old copper lines’ to ‘new fibre-optic cables’.
Until recently, much of the world has still used these copper phone lines to connect to the Internet. The difference – as we now see with ultra-fast broadband through fibre optics – is that copper lines weren’t designed to facilitate the extraordinary quantities of data we send and receive online in 2019.
The PTSN works by creating a dedicated circuit between two users. This connects one specific point (your business phone) to another (a customer’s phone line). Analog voice data is then carried over the dedicated circuit, which enables you to talk with the person on the other end of the line.
If you’ve ever made a long-distance, overseas landline call, you’ll be familiar with the speed limitations of copper cables through the momentary lag you experience in audio transfer.
VoIP, on the other hand, uses data packets to transfer voice information, much in the same way we send and receive data when browsing the Internet. Due to the nature of how data is transferred over the Internet, you’re less likely to experience lag or ‘bottle-necking’, as the data is broken into many different ‘packets’, takes the fastest route to the receiving point, and reassembles itself.
This is also one of the main reasons VoIP is seen as a secure method of communicating, as tracking multiple data packets in their various fragments is much harder than tapping into a single copper line.
Copper lines versus fibre optics: speed, reliability, and user capacity
The increased installation of fibre optic cables throughout New Zealand – which many individuals and businesses have recently installed through moving to Fibre Broadband packages – is excellent news for VoIP, as it enables far greater data capabilities than copper lines.
To illustrate the differences between copper and fibre optics, we can look at their features side by side:
Copper maxes out at around 10 Gbps (Gigabits per second) while fibre optics can manage 60 Tbps (Terabits per second) and above.
Copper lines are affected by electromagnetic and radio-frequency interference, cross-talk (if you’ve ever suddenly heard another person’s voice while on a landline call) and voltage surges. Fibre optics are immune to these issues due to the nature of their construction and composition.
Lifecycle and Security
Copper lines have an estimated degradable cycle of around five years, whereas fibre optics are designed to be operational at their optimal performance for up to 50 years. Where copper lines can be ‘tapped’, which would allow a user to listen to another’s phone calls, fibre-optic cables are nearly impossible to breach.
For businesses, all of these factors are important when deciding on a communications package. But as fibre-optics become more commonplace, VoIP becomes a much more appealing choice in return. On current copper-line Internet connections, VoIP still delivers the same increased security and flexibility through how it transfers data.
As the world moves to solely rely on fibre-optic connections, however, the speed and simultaneous transfer capacity of Fibre Broadband will result in almost limitless potential for the number of users within a single business to use the full array of VoIP communication options.
In short, this means we’ll soon see businesses transferring large files between offices both nationally and internationally, unlimited video-conferencing and remote communications, and a flexibility to scale business communications as and when they are needed.
Interested in learning more about VoIP for your business? Contact Cloud Edge
We’ve covered the basic technical aspects of VoIP above, but the proof of its success is how it can be applied to your business. At Cloud Edge, we provide a solution that is made to fit the needs of your business, not the other way around.
Our cloud-based VoIP offering can be scaled to your needs, providing excellent stability and features at unbeatable prices. The team at Cloud Edge can provide options for IP-compatible phones, business-grade Internet connections, and can help set up all call-forwarding, existing-number transfers, and even provide you with a custom 0800 number for your business.