VoIP Service Providers and Hosted VoIP
What is VoIP?
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is the delivery of voice services over an IP network. VoIP is also commonly referred to as Internet Telephony and IP Telephony.
VoIP technologies for businesses started picking up momentum in the early 2000s, and since then has become a commonly used service.
Initially, home or remote workers leveraged digital extender devices that rode over ISDN-BRI lines in order to provide a similar digital deskphone; however, this lead to high usage costs from service providers. The second channel of the ISDN-BRI was used as the control channel and had to always stay connected to the phone systems; so, an 8 hour usage call was billed in addition to the inbound/outbound phone call to the end user.
Home or remote workers also leveraged a computer application (GUI) that offered a dual connect mode. End users would control features on their computer while riding over a dial up modem VPN connected to the main site; while the second home phone line was utilized for talk path. This was also extremely costly.
Internet prices remained high for both home and business clients as DSL was not yet introduced.
Business clients that had multiple locations that wanted to share resources and talk more effectively between the locations leveraged point to point T1 circuits that were priced based on distance. Businesses would purchase one for data and another for voice.
As time went on, it started to become apparent that there had to be a more efficient and cost-effective way to utilize data and voice services. Eventually, business phone system manufacturers started providing options for IP Deskphones, IP Softphones, and Site to Site VOIP / H.323. Business VoIP users started sharing a single point to point T1 to dynamically send voice or data over one circuit - no longer needing two. Then Internet pricing started decreasing and "always-on" internet connections picked up momentum. This provided an easy and less expensive way to connect home and remote users by leveraging IP technologies. More and more businesses adopted IP Deskphone and IP Softphone solutions for remote workers.
When service provider pricing started to decrease, service providers introduced VoIP T1 circuits, or dynamic T1s, that provided small-to -medium sized businesses a less expensive way to make phone calls as bundled minutes were included. No longer did businesses have to have separate voice and internet circuits from their provider as T1 circuits could effectively handle both a client's need for dial tone as well as internet. VoIP Service providers made it easy to convert by providing an on premise device such as a Router that converted the VoIP signal back to traditional PRI or POTS (analog phone lines) handoff to easily connect to the current phone system. Thus, clients did not have to entirely replace their old phone system.
More and more VoIP Service Providers popped up as VoIP Technologies matured and less issues with voice quality occurred. At this time, VoIP providers started to introduce hosted VoIP solutions.
What is Hosted VoIP?
As stated before, VoIP is the transmission of voice over an IP network. When VoIP is hosted, it essentially means that the hardware and PBX is simply hosted at another off-site location than where the VoIP services are being used. Hosted VoIP is also often referred to as Hosted PBX.
Once VoIP providers began introducing hosted VoIP solutions, this allowed clients that currently had their service to utilize some basic telephone features through a central portal or web browser. Since this was developed for the masses these solutions provide the bare minimums a client needs to conduct business day-to-day. Some features include dial tone, conferencing, transferring, and voicemail. With the onset of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) standards were raised, allowing more VoIP Service Providers to introduce hosted phone system offerings.
Whether you are looking to enhance your on-premise solution by leveraging IP or if you are looking for a new solution, contact our hosted phone systems division.
Some VoIP and Hosted VoIP Service Providers that we can assist with include:
- Access One Communications
- Birch Communications
- Windstream Communications
- WOW! Communications
- XO Communications
For more information on VoIP Service Providers and Hosted VoIP providers in your area contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or dial (877) 598-3999.