The countless benefits of voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) calls, including the cost-effectiveness of it and the ability to provide companies with mobility have become widely known in recent years and have become a major reason for budget-conscious companies to switch to it.
Yet, despite proven statistics that it can slash telephone bills by as much as 40% in South Africa, many local company owners are still reluctant to change to VOIP to meet their telecommunications needs. Why?
The hesitation to change to VOIP is because of the widely held belief that voice communication delivered via the data network is less reliable, especially when compared to the traditional, circuit-switched public telephone network, which has made consumers used to voice calls of impeccable quality.
That’s because VOIP is delivered over a best-effort network, without fundamental quality of service guarantees, and network routers handle traffic on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, routers on high-volume traffic links may cause delays that exceed permissible thresholds for VOIP. And VOIP does not provide a network-based mechanism to ensure that data packets are not lost, and are delivered in sequential order. And many companies are not willing to sacrifice quality when it comes to their business calls. Although the quality of VOIP calls has improved drastically over the years, there are still issues that might affect the quality of calls. The amount of bandwidth you have at your disposal will affect the quality of the calls you have on VOIP. Those who have a slow Internet connection will have really bad VOIP calls, with it breaking up constantly. Other aspects that might affect calls include the equipment you use, the location of your hardware, and even the weather – with thunderstorms, wind and other conditions causing static.
That with all the cost-saving benefits VOIP has to offer, investing in a quality network foundation and broadband connection will ensure optimum call quality and ultimately a small price to pay.