The VOIP and SIP Revolution – what does it all mean?

In a recent Australian survey, 42% of businesses stated they had no idea what the terms SIP and VoIP mean. Even fewer businesses understood what benefits SIP and VoIP can provide. Talk to any IT guy and he’ll probably tell you “it’s where every business is going”.

This blog is not intended to provide a technical white paper but aims to simplify the terms and technology.

The journey from traditional telephones

Telephony originally ran over copper wires and still does in many cases. Over these copper wires, you made a call from your home and your call was routed to the recipient via a telephone exchange. This system needs dedicated handsets, telephone exchanges (local and national) and physical wiring. ISDN lines were developed to allow data to be carried by the same copper wires. Telstra have invested heavily in upgrading many of the copper wiring to optical fibre (much faster and more stable).

In the simplest terms, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) are simply protocols (sets of rules) that enable your call to be converted to data. VoIP software will format your speech and video calls for transfer via the Internet, local, corporate or mobile phone data networks. SIP creates a dedicated ‘data tunnel’ on the same computer networks so that VoIP and media streaming is handled more efficiently.

Telstra have built a state of the art network to carry data information globally. This is separate to both the ‘old’ telephone network and the public Internet network.  Next IP and Ethernet Lite are examples of this dedicated, guaranteed quality of service network.

What business benefits can VoIP and SIP bring?

The benefits of both are numerous, but include:

  • Cheaper call rates across the board.
  • Less hardware on site, hence reduced purchase and servicing costs.
  • Simpler call management, with extensive additional features (e.g. flexibility to route every incoming call to your desk first, then mobile, then car phone).
  • Controlled monthly spending. A fixed-cost data pipe to your business may fulfil your data telephony needs, applications, backups, anti-virus etc . Fixing this ‘data cost’ monthly cost is a compelling case for small businesses.

Things you must consider

To ensure call quality over data networks, there are many considerations, such as:

  • Where is the business located and what’s the maximum bandwidth the site can access?
  • How does VoIP or SIP fit with the business’ future plans, growth or objectives?
  •  Can the quality of service for data be guaranteed?
  • How much can be saved on monthly phone bills?
  • Can the existing hardware or telephony system be used to reduce costs?
  • Can a Telstra plan be used to create a dollar rebate and provide additional services?

Some companies offer SIP connections over ‘standard ADSL’ or business ADSL lines and call quality can be extremely poor. Standard ADSL routes calls across the public Internet, leaving your calls open to hacking, monitoring or competing for bandwidth  with every internet user (see how well your call sounds when your neighbour is downloading a film!). Are we saying that VoIP or SIP will never work over ADSL? No, but it can confidently be predicted that ADSL performance will degrade over the coming years as our Sunshine Coast infrastructure creaks under load. With uncertainty around the NBN rollout, a business owner may want to ponder why Telstra will not guarantee performance across any ADSL line for VoIP or SIP trunks, yet offer guarantees for  dedicated links like Connect IP or Ethernet Lite*.

For VoIP and SIP the old adage “you get what you pay for” is unfortunately true.  Please be careful when considering SIP proposals that promise buy-outs from current systems and contracts, as unscrupulous companies are hiding the total cost of solutions in monthly rentals.

Interested in a VoIP or SIP solution – what next?

  • Ring Tele2! Call us to discuss your options around VoIP and SIP.   We’re not hard sell, we’re local and we want to see your business succeed!
  • Tell us about your business and we’ll advise which option is best for you.
  • Ask us to dissect alternative SIP and VoIP proposals free of charge.
  • Allow our ICT team to capacity plan your deployment and advise the least cost, best performance system.

Contact us today to discuss your options on 07 5478 2000 or by clicking here.

*NEXTIP and Ethernet Lite are copyrighted Telstra product names. Please call the Tele2 for further information about Telstra products.