An efficient and effective business phone line service is key to your business staying competitive and making a profit. But with all the technical jargon and acronyms it can be hard to work out which business phone line service is right for your business.
And while there are ISDN and PSTN phone line options to consider, there’s another solution you may not have thought about – the cloud!
What is the difference between ISDN and PSTN?
ISDN stands for the Integrated Services Digital Network, a digital network technology that carries and transmits voice, data, video and fax in a digital format. In Australia, ISDN services can either be a basic rate service, known as ISDN 2 or a primary rate service, known as ISDN 10/20/30.
ISDN2 (BRI – Basic Rate Interface) is the entry-level version and has two 64 kbit/s voice channels and one 16 kbit/s signalling channel that add up to 144 kbit/s.
ISDN10/20/30 (PRI – Primary Rate Interface) provides users with 10, 20 or 30, 64 kbit/s channels permitting for a maximum data rate of approximately 2 megabits per second (Mbit/s). Medium to large businesses usually use primary rate services.
Summit SIP Voice is a business grade voice solution. Suitable for plugging directing to your IP phone system, SIP comes with blocks of 10 lines, 20 lines or 30 lines. Find out more about Summit SIP Voice service here.
PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network lines. With this dedicated service, each line has a unique phone number with the area code of its assigned telephone exchange. Despite the core network being almost entirely digital, PSTN is delivered to the premises via twisted copper pairs in analogue form.
While business phone line services using PSTN are similar in function to residential landlines, they are managed on less congested networks. Even though many businesses are still using PSTN as their business phone line service, there are limitations.
If your business is growing, your office will need to have more than one PSTN line. Installing multiple PSTN lines can become very expensive.
PSTN & ISDN will be phased out soon
As the NBN network is driving a switch from copper based voice services to services that run over broadband & data services, over the next 2-4 years PSTN & SDN will be phased out.
This means that traditional PSTN & ISDN users will be forced into switching to alternative VoIP based voice services. If you want to keep your PSTN Phone numbers, you will have no choice but to move to VoIP based service to replace your old voice lines.
Legacy PBX hardware will need to be replaced as PBX systems will need to be compatible with IP based voice services, or a cloud based phone solution.
Summit Business Cloud Phone Solution
Now you know the difference between ISDN and PSTN, it’s time to discover a more powerful, simple and intuitive business phone solution! When your business uses the cloud as a phone solution, you can forget about the technical jargon and acronyms.
Summit offers a simple, future-proof phone solution that easily scales when your business grows. Benefits to your business include:
- No more expensive line rental!
- Multi-site networking becomes simple
- Savings on your phone bill
- Free on-net calls between sites
- One number for multiple devices including iPhone, Android, Mac and PC
- NBN compatible
Your business also gets the latest equipment, maintenance and customer support from a local service centre.
Find out how moving away from ISDN and PSTN to the cloud can benefit your business. Talk to our friendly and helpful Summit Team Members on 1300 049 749.
Are you a business using FreshTel for Voice Over IP? If so, You’ve got less than 30 days to move your phone numbers away from FreshTel before they disconnect your service.
Earlier this year, VoIP Provider FreshTel announced that they would be ceasing operation of their VoIP services as of 30th June 2018.
How can Summit Internet help? Move to a Summit SIP Trunk or Hosted Phone System and we’ll transfer your phone number for free!
Avoid the last minute rush and avoid your business being disconnected. To discuss how Summit can help you transition from FreshTel, please contact one of our Team Members on 1300 049 749.
Once the VoIP system entered the market, it showcased a wide range of features that made it a lucrative switch from PSTN systems. However, as with every new technology, not everything is stable from the mere start, which made businesses doubt this new technology. However, as the years have passed, this technology has aged like wine, only becoming increasingly superior to PSTN systems.
Therefore, if you are thinking about moving to VoIP systems, no matter if you are a small or big business, the following facts will show you why you should definitely go for it.
It is cost effective
One of the biggest advantages this system brings to the table it cost-efficiency. This is due to the fact that all of the data is actually driven across the internet protocol, which is a cheaper way of transferring data. This allows VoIP services providers to:
- Deliver services at lower fees – The main problem with phone systems used to be the cost. Yes, you could reach out to a person no matter where he or she is, as long as you knew their number. Now, with only a click, you can get in touch with anyone, no matter where they are, but for only a couple of cents. Phone bills used to be a problem, whereas now, as your business grows, the rise in costs will practically be unnoticeable.
- Free internal calls – Using a VoIP system enables a business to establish an internal network where employees can communicate for free, no matter where they are. This was practically impossible with PSTN systems and it is a great way to significantly lower costs, especially when the business grows and includes thousands of employees globally.
Cost efficiency is important for every business for a variety of business tasks. As communication is always necessary, cutting costs on it is seriously important for future business expenditures.
Scalability and flexibility
One of the benefits of VoIP system hides behind its incredible ability of easily change over time. Okay, your business has started of with 2 employees. Now, a year later, you are sitting with 50 employees and are still growing.
Adding telephones like this was limited as each line required physical changes made to the system. However, with a VoIP platform, adding new users is much easier and practically limitless. Scalability is very important, as your business is likely to grow over time and you want to be in a position to work on a platform that allows easy expansion.
Also, moving your employee’s position in the office without changing their phone number is also easy. As their phones have unique mac addresses, he or she should only bring a phone with them and plug it in the system; it will automatically register their device and all its properties.
The easy flexibility and scalability of the VoIP system is yet another benefit and it shows how advanced this technology is in comparison to PSTN systems.
Integration with software tools
As we are talking about the Internet protocol, you are going to use a client on your PC or Smartphone for communicating with your clients, colleagues, and customers. This is where things become interesting. The communication client can capture significant types of data and it can be integrated with different types of software tools such as CRMs, which can allow you to analyse the collected data for future reference.
This is especially important for enterprise businesses, as the amount of data can clearly show future behaviors of employees and customers.
Internet is now everywhere, which means that VoIP is now anywhere as well. All you have to do is have the client installed on your device that is connected to the internet, and you are ready to make calls, leave voicemails, organise conferences, and send messages to your colleagues.
This was impossible in the past because of the PSTN network limitations. Therefore, if you want to work a network that will provide you with more mobility, you should definitely choose VoIP.
Perfect for centralising customer support
With the PSTN networks, having a customer support number required different area codes for different geographical locations. This type of approach can be confusing for the customers, as they would have to do a research to find the right customer support number.
Luckily, this issue is easily resolved, as you can use a single phone number code nationally. This means that, no matter where you customer is calling from, he can reach you through a single number.
Also, your customers will more easily remember a single phone number, than several of them, making it easier for your customers to reach you.
Stability and call quality
As technology has matured over the past couple of years, VoIP call quality and stability has significantly improved. The quality is far superior to that of the PSTN system. Also, as long as you are connected to a good internet connection, all of the communication is stable, no matter the distance between you and the person you are talking to is.
Call quality does not only include voice, you can also go for video conferences with your colleagues, making it a great way to be present in a meeting if you are not able to come. This also significantly saves costs, as the VoIP system can help you cut down employee travel costs.
Moving to VoIP is the best decision you can possibly make, as the performance of this platform is far superior to what other technologies have to offer. This technology is only going to evolve in the future, allowing it to become cheaper and more powerful, allowing people to easily communicate with each other.
Given the fact that the world is getting globalised rapidly, there are more and more businesses that have offices around the globe. Even smaller organisations reach out to outsourcing services abroad and collaborate with international companies. This means that companies have expanded their communication needs to an international level.
This has created a new reality for business; they need to have a lot of international calls to be able to organise themselves properly. However, finding reliable and affordable phone systems for these constant international calls is not easy. This is where VoIP, or voice over internet protocol, comes into the picture.
This is a system that transmits audio communications over long distances using the internet instead of mobile or telephone networks. This type of phone system has changed many things and created a lot of solutions for companies looking to maintain cheap international communications that are reliable.
In my experience, a company can save from 25% to 65% on communication and these are great numbers. Although these numbers can vary, it’s still a great way to cut down costs. So, let’s see what the reasons for these cost cuts are.
Why VoIP is the best solution for international business communication
A lot of business owners, managers and employees alike are familiar with communication systems that have voiceovers or messaging such as Skype, however there are much greater and more advanced systems that work on similar methods.
All of these systems rely on fast internet connections that allow companies to quickly make calls and have a stable connection. All of these systems transform analog signals to digital signals which then go through the web and reach a distant destination.
These systems have audio streams which are instant, meaning that the calls can be placed from any location which has a stable internet connection. A business can harness many benefits from these kinds of phone systems, especially when talking about saving money. On top of that, they are more flexible and scalable.
How Cloud VoIP communication systems cut costs
The majority of VoIP communication systems are hosted on the cloud. This means that your whole system and database will be located on one server through which all of you communication processes will operate. The first thing that saves money here is that you simply don’t have to install any phones or phone lines on site.
You won’t have to purchase any hardware for offices around the world, nor ship it and pay for its installation. Everything is taken care off by the provider. On top of that, your provider will also be in charge of maintenance, meaning that you won’t have to pay for IT experts to do this for you or waste your IT department’s resources to deal with these issues.
VoIP communication systems can also be installed with a business that has pre-existing traditional phone system. The only thing a business will have to get is an adaptor that costs around $40 which is used to connect all phones to the web, enabling them all to send and receive VoIP calls.
What to look for when choosing a good VoIP system
When looking for the best package for your business, the most important things you will have to consider are your budget and the costs of these services. On top of that, you also need to check whether the provider can cover a certain country, give you special features, and allow you to scale your package how you see fit.
It is also important to analyse what your needs are so that you can get the right type of service for your company. Not only that voice over IP systems are much cheaper, but they can come with some amazing features. When opting for a quality service, you should look to acquire things such as call forwarding, call transfer, tele-conferencing, data sharing, and caller ID perks.
These are all the things that traditional phone lines don’t offer. On top of that, the level of security and reliability is much greater, given the fact that VoIP systems have encryptions.
Not only that you will directly pay less for all of these amazing features, but these features will allow your organisation to be more efficient and achieve better results, while relying on a comprehensive communication system capable of handling a whole business spread around the globe.
Even employees will be able to respond more quickly, as they don’t have to be present within their offices to use this system and talk to their coworkers. These are all some of the things you should look from your VoIP provider.
Scale with minimal costs
Given the fact that users are added to the VoIP system quickly and that providers offer maximum customisation and flexibility in terms of how many people can use your system and communicate, you will have a much easier time of adjusting your service with your current needs. If a business is growing rapidly and it’s in need of more communication channels, it can quickly change it’s package that will be available almost instantly.
The same thing applies for when the needs are smaller. Not only this, but the price can literally be changed per user, and the cost of changes simply don’t exist; if you add more people, you will just have to pay for every individual and get on with your everyday work, no additional costs, no setup costs.
These hosted systems are always administered through an online control panel, located remotely, meaning that the scaling process within an organisation and throughout various offices is almost instant and quite easy.
It is very important that your do thorough research regarding usability and pricing that providers offer so that you are able to choose the VoIP solution that will completely suit your business. It’s generally a good idea to start with one office and see how the system proves itself before you start implementing it globally in all of your offices.
Given the fact that all modern business offices and spaces have stable internet connections, why not exploit this cheap resource even further and improve your communications as well. Don’t waste time, switch to a VoIP system as quickly as possible.
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is an emerging technology that is literally reinventing the wheel and completely changing the way we take and place phone calls. This technology refers to an amazing method of IP telephony, that is, the method of using the Internet to place phone calls that are transmitted into digital data.
Namely, when you switch to a VoIP telephone system, you can place free phone calls, and all you need is a good Internet connection. You can say goodbye to costly traditional phone lines and say hello to a free phone call system, which can not only help you save a lot of money, but also help you become significantly more efficient and productive.
However, despite VoIP’s raise in popularity, a number of small businesses are still sceptical about it and choose to remain on the bench while the big guns keep playing the game. They are mostly concerned with the costs of implementing new technologies and they think that the quality of VoIP audio is not as high as it is when it comes to traditional telephone systems. Most importantly, they fear that their phone services will suffer greatly should they experience a power outage.
The truth of the matter is that switching to VoIP is extremely beneficial and all of the benefits it can provide you with significantly outweigh the potential disadvantages. Therefore, take a closer look at the importance of VoIP and the outstanding impact it can have on your business.
Why Is VoIP Really Important?
By switching to a VoIP telephone system, you will provide your business with several very useful benefits. It doesn’t matter what size your company is, since VoIP is designed for everyone, as its primary goal is making phone calls more efficient and effective, while making them free at the same time. Here are the most essential reasons why you should definitely make the switch as soon as possible.
Reducing Your Telecommunication Costs
Instead of using the services of traditional phone companies, a VoIP system turns your phone calls into data sent over the Internet. Therefore, by switching to VoIP, your telecommunication costs will be considerably lower, since you will no longer have to pay for traditional phone lines.
This is especially important for long-distance calls, which, as you must already know, can be quite expensive. What’s more, with VoIP, there will be no reason to maintain two different networks, one for data and the other one for phone lines, so you will save even more money down the line.
Taking Calls On-the-Go
With VoIP, you can take your calls while you are on-the-go, as long as you have a reliable Internet connection. No matter where you are, you can take full advantage of your VoIP telephone system and never miss an important phone call.
This is because VoIP provides you with an amazing call forwarding feature, so you can forward all calls to you mobile phone or even your laptop, since a VoIP system comes with computer software. Therefore, all your customers and clients will always be able to easily reach you by simply dialling your regular business phone number.
Forwarding Faxes and Voicemail to Your Email Inbox
Yet another great reason for making the switch to VoIP is that the system enables you to forward all the faxes and voicemail you receive directly to your email inbox. Having all of your emails in one singular place will greatly help you become more efficient and productive, not to mention that you can easily forward any email or fax to other members of your team.
Virtual Phone Numbers
This is very important for your long-distance customers and clients, as VoIP enables you to have a business phone number with any area code that you want, instead of having only one assigned area code for the location where you operate. Getting those virtual phone numbers means that people who are not in your region can easily contact you without any charges whatsoever.
You certainly realise how important that is for your business growth. Moreover, if you happen to move your business to another location, that would require assigning a new area code to your business phone number, you won’t have to go through all the trouble of transferring your phone services to the new location, changing the number and notifying all of your customers and clients about it.
How Can You Know When Your Business Is Ready for the Switch?
If you are not sure whether or not VoIP is the right choice for your business, the aforementioned benefits it can provide you with will certainly help you make an informed decision. However, there are certain tell-tale signs that can help you know if your business is ready for VoIP, so you need to pay close attention.
If you are getting so many phone calls that you keep a number of your customers on a busy signal, you can lose a lot of them. They won’t have the patience to wait for someone to pick up the phone. VoIP is very useful in such cases, because it includes auto attendants, as well as call recording, which can help you keep your customers satisfied, and happy customers are loyal customers.
If you feel like you are spending too much money on your traditional phone system (just think about all those long-distance calls and mobile phone bills), then VoIP is definitely the way to go. Not only will you cut down on all those costs, but you will also significantly improve your customer service, since anyone who wants to contact you will be able to do so completely free of charge.
Trying out new stuff can be scary, especially when it’s about your business. You don’t want to expose your business to risks, but you also cannot afford to sit idly on the sidelines. No battle is ever won without risk. You need to embrace new changes and, more importantly, embrace the future.
Switching to VoIP may seem like a major decision, but it is definitely a huge step towards improving your business and leading it to greater success. Therefore, don’t hesitate any longer, but step up your game and enter the grand playing field by switching to this amazingly flexible and cost-effective technology. Make sure you know what to look for when upgrading your phone system and find a VoIP provider that can offer you the best services for your needs.
SIP Trunking is a relatively new technology that has a host of benefits for organisations. To gain a solid understanding of what it is, how it can benefit an organisation and what it’s benefits and drawbacks are, it’s important to understand how traditional phone systems work. This will aid in drawing comparisons between the two systems while giving context to the differences between them.
A traditional phone system is quite simple. The paradigm has not changed much in the past hundred years. In theory, it’s possible to take an old landline phone from the 1960s, plug it into a phone line and make a call.
A telephone handset is used to convert voice into analogue signals that are passed over a copper wire, to a gateway or exchange, through the public telephone network to the outside world.
Traditional telephone systems depend on the traditional infrastructure, service providers and gateway equipment. In a large company, installing, operating and managing telephone infrastructure can be expensive and time consuming.
Using SIP trunking can reduce costs considerably by simply removing most of the components needed in a traditional telephone system. It’s much easier to install and upgrade, and provides more functionality than a traditional system. It also costs far less to make calls
What is SIP Trunking?
SIP trunking is a protocol or communication standard that sends information over the internet, rather than over a fixed line telephone network.
When comparing it to a traditional telephone line, it converts voice into a digital signal which is sent directly from the handset, over the internet to the outside world. It bypasses gateways and exchanges as well as the public telephone infrastructure.
How does SIP trunking benefit a business?
Cost reduction. In a traditional telephone system, ISDN and PSTN lines carry high monthly rental charges and high call costs. The cost of making a call to another country is usually very high. Using a SIP system, monthly rental charges are reduced and included value plans are more common. This gives business a known monthly cost for all of their rental and call costs.
Scaleability. With traditional ISDN and PSTN, scaling up was timely and expensive. Not only did you have to wait for more lines to be installed, but typically you had to purchase additional equipment for your PBX. With SIP, scaling up is as simple as making a phone call to your provider. Within minutes, you can have additional SIP lines added to your account.
Reliability and ease of use. In modern cities, it is usually fairly easy to get a good quality, high bandwidth internet connection. Most companies also have redundant connectivity methods. This means that a SIP system has a high quality, redundant connection. In a traditional system, if the phone lines are damaged outside a building, all telephone communication is cut off.
What are the drawbacks of a SIP system?
A SIP system depends entirely on the internet connection it uses. If a company uses a low bandwidth connection, voice quality and reliability can be negatively affected. In some instances, you may also need to purchase additional hardware to interface legacy PBX’s.
With the roll out of the Australian National Broadband Network, reliable connectivity will make SIP trunking a very real possibility for most companies.