Hosted Telephony

Is Your Environment Ready for Hosted Telephony?

From the smallest businesses to huge corporations, every company can benefit from what hosted telephony has to offer. However, while you might be ready in terms of your operations, it can be harder to assess your network, infrastructure, and existing IT.

The barriers to entry for hosted VoIP are impressively low. That’s why so many businesses are already using hosted telephony to unlock new mobility options, improve customer service, reduce costs, and preserve capital they would otherwise spend on in-house hardware.

In fact, any modern IT network and internet connection can cope with the demands of telephony. However, understanding your bandwidth, network, and how the service works can help you make an informed decision and optimise your performance for crystal-clear calling.

1. Consider hosted VoIP codecs and bandwidth

At the most basic level, VoIP is based on one core technology – the ability to turn the human voice into digital information that can be sent over the internet, and back again. This is the work of a codec, which will typically:

  • Encode voice information into data
  • Compress that data so it can be transmitted faster
  • Decompress data at the other end
  • Decode the data back into voice

There are numerous different codecs that can perform these functions. Some are better at compressing data into smaller file sizes, while others focus on clarity and accurate encoding.

At Hostcomm, we typically use the G711 (ulaw/alaw) codec, which requires 100Kbps for each call. To be ready for hosted VoIP, you’ll need bandwidth that can cope with the number of lines you need. For example, twenty agents using this codec at the same time will need at least 2 Mbps of bandwidth.

There are, however, alternatives. Dedicated an internet connection to VoIP can be an effective way to maximise bandwidth, while the right provider will take the time to increase compression if keeping bandwidth low is a priority.

2. Low latency is crucial

Even if your broadband connection offers enough bandwidth to cope with VoIP calling, it’s important that data flows quickly and effectively around your network. High latency, when individual packets of data take a long time to travel around your network, is a leading cause of poor VoIP call quality.

Your business network may already be suffering from high latency, but it is hard to detect without close monitoring. Most users won’t notice latency when browsing the web or sending an email, since neither of these things relies on real-time two-way communication. Switch to having a conversation and suddenly poor performance becomes glaringly obvious.

For VoIP that performs well, you’ll need latency under 150 ms – although, in practice, the lower the better. You can check your network latency in the Microsoft Windows command prompt using the Ping functionality – or find several free tools online.

3. Check your network components

One way to reduce latency on your network is to replace outdated, slow components. However, the consequences of failing components can be as severe as losing packets of data altogether.

When your hardware can’t keep up with high volumes of traffic, some packets – in this case, some parts of the audio – will be dropped altogether. For hosted telephony, this means jittery, stuttering calls that frustrate customers and employees alike.

It’s also important to check the parts of your network that may be functioning correctly but still impeding the flow of call data. For example, overly-enthusiastic security devices like firewalls take time to inspect your packets, creating a delay that can often be noticed during conversations. Your service provider should be able to advise you on configuring your existing devices correctly.

4. Get professional guidance on hosted VoIP

If you’re ready to take advantage of everything hosted VoIP has to offer, you shouldn't let your network or existing infrastructure hold you back.

At Hostcomm, we’ve handled hundreds of VoIP implementations on every scale. Our expert technicians can help you understand your network, plan the appropriate solution, and get the best performance on every single call.

See what hosted telephony could do for your business.


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