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One of the main questions we are asked when businesses are considering a hosted VoIP phone system is: how does VoIP work?
The concept is simple: A call is made from a IP deskphone such as a Cisco 7940. This is sent down your internet line to a traditional exchange. Once there, they are routed to the number you have called.
So how is a VoIP call different from a traditional call?
Very little is different. A traditional call is routed from exchange to exchange until it rings the destination line. The issue here is that many of the copper cables the call must navigate along have been in the ground since telephones became available. As a result, many are now severely degraded. A VoIP call will only travel to the nearest exchange to the caller. Once is reaches here, the VoIP call will then travel over data centres circuits and arrive directly as the destination exchange. As such, a call made using a Hosted VoIP phone system will typically be better quality than a traditional call.
A VoIP service also means that you are not tied to a local exchange based on your phone number. Even if you move within the same postcode, if you move exchange you may not be able to move your business telephone number with you. If you move business from one postcode area to another, you cannot take your number with you.
With a hosted VoIP phone system, the number is stored in our data centre. This means that no matter where you are based in the world, your number stays in the same place. This allows businesses to scale and move is greater ease than with a standard phone system. As we are a nationwide business, we are able to support businesses throughout the UK. Saffwood Communications is based in Warrington, in Warrington Cheshire and provides hosted VoIP phone systems
Is there a different between VoIP and SIP?
This is an area that sometimes confuses people. To start simple:
If you are looking for a first time phone system, or only have a small phone sysem (typically less than 20 handsets) then you would choose a Hosted VoIP phone system rather than a SIP solution.
So what is a SIP solution:
SIP was introduced to help businesses with existing phones systems (typically larger phone systems) move to VoIP without having to replace all their handsets.
Typically a standard VoIP solution works by IP handsets connecting to our data centre at Saffwood Communications. By doing this they unify as a single Hosted VoIP solution.
If a business has a large volume of handsets, they may not want the expense of replacing all these with VoIP handsets (or IP handsets). If this is the case, they need to change their PBX.
A PBX is the brains of any phone system. With a VoIP phone system, the PBX lives in the Saffwood data centre. When a SIP solution is needed, the PBX needs to be on site. The PBX required is an IP PBX. This means that traditional analogue handsets can connect to the IP PBX and the IP PBX can then connect to the Saffwood Data centre (phew!).
An IP PBX is typcially around £2,000, which is why in most cases, businesses find it far cheaper to replace their handsets (10 would only cost £600). As all the equipment is a Hosted VoIP phone system is held by Saffwood, there is no setup cost bar the handsets and typically a new router.