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Preparing for VoIP – The importance of your internet connection

While VoIP phone systems have many advantages of traditional systems – particularly in terms of costs – there are a few considerations you should make before transitioning to VoIP. Principal among these is whether your business’ broadband connection is up to the task of supporting a high volume of VoIP traffic.

Why internet matters

Your internet speed is critical in terms of the call quality you’ll experience when using VoIP. Bandwidth is the term used to define internet speed – more specifically it refers to data transfer rate. It’s important to have some knowledge of the overall bandwidth you receive from your ISP before implementing VoIP, as a significant proportion of this bandwidth may be required to operate your VoIP system and ensure a level of call quality or Quality of Service (QoS).

How much bandwidth will I need to allocate to a VoIP system?

As a rule of thumb, you should budget for about 100kbps per caller. This means 5 simultaneous calls will require about 0.5Mbps, 10 will require about 1Mbps and so on. Bear in mind that non-VoIP activity may intrude upon your available bandwidth.

Traditional ISDN channels typically guarantee bandwidth of 64kbps and for this reason, ISDN is regarded by some as the better option when it comes to guaranteeing call quality. However, by investing the potentially huge savings made by switching to VoIP in your business’ internet connection you can ensure your VoIP system has the required bandwidth to perform.

How do I upgrade my business’ internet connection?

Business Broadband

Signing up to Business-grade broadband service is the simplest way to boost your internet speeds. In essence, such services are no different from consumer alternatives, providing broadband (in most cases) via the same infrastructure. So what’s the difference?

  • Higher bandwidth. Business broadband services typically offer higher bandwidths than their consumer counterparts. Products at the lower end of the price scale will provide speeds comparable to consumer products. Fibre business broadband can offer speeds of around 70-80Mbps and fixed-line services can enable speeds of up to 10Gbps for businesses with high bandwidth demands.
  • Superior support. The customer support offered to business-grade broadband customers is always vastly superior to that available on consumer products. 24/7 support, service level agreements, and compensation for poor service are some of the service assurances business broadband customers can expect.
  • Lower contention ratio. ‘Contention ratio’ refers to the number of customers sharing a single connection. For consumer services this ratio normally lies between 20:1 to 50:1, whereas a business-grade customer can expect as low as 5:1 or even lower.
  • Static IP. Consumer broadband services designed with households in mind typically don’t offer a static IP (usually not required by domestic users anyway) meaning your IP address changes every time you connect to the internet. Business Broadband providers usually provide customers with at least one static IP address, giving a permanent online presence and the ability to operate online services.
  • Web-hosting, email and domain services. Business broadband providers often provide customers with at least the basics needed to establish a basic web presence, such as web hosting services and domain names.

Options for even greater speeds:

Full Fibre (FTTP) – Fibre to the premises (often referred to as full-fibre) replaces the traditionally copper elements between your business premises and the nearby cabinet. Downsides with this option include that it is limited in its availability and your internet connection will remain contended (shared with other users). However, if this is an option in your area you could enjoy speeds of up to 1gbps – much faster than ADSL and FTTC (Fibre to the cabinet) connections.

Leased Lines – The ultimate in business connectivity! A leased line will give your business a dedicated, uncontended connection direct to the local exchange. Enjoy speeds of up to 10 Gbps and asymmetric experience meaning upload and downloads speeds will be the same. Some business Broadband providers include leased lines in their more expensive offerings, but therein lies a crucial point – leased lines are very expensive compared to other business broadband options.

 

We’re Netplatforms.

We’re Net Platforms and we have years of experience in supporting small-medium businesses across London and Essex with such technology challenges. We’ll get to know your business and create the most appropriate solution to meet your technical requirements while being commercially sensible in cost. Why not get in touch with our team today and explore how you can prepare your business for the future of telephony with VoIP technologies. 0207 993 9035 or hello@netplatforms.co.uk.

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Book a no-obligation discovery call with a member of our team today by calling 0207 993 9035 or hello@netplatforms.co.uk