VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or IP telephony is a modern technology that lets you make phone calls over Local Area Networks (LANs) or the internet. It’s been around since the early 1970s, but VoIP only recently became popular due to the improvement on the Internet connection and NBN rollout in Australia.
All VoIP phone systems convert your voice into small data unit. The recipient receives these packets over the internet. At their end, the receiver decodes the data back into your voice.
What are the benefits of moving away from landlines now?
These are the real boon; by using your existing internet connection, VoIP requires no costs for lines, nor their maintenance. Whilst VoIP providers still charge fees for the use of their services, this is typically cheaper than current phone standards, and often variable depending on the functionality you need from your subscription.
Alongside the typical functions you’d expect from a landline – call forwarding, call blocking, call waiting and voicemail – VoIP offers software solutions to give you yet more power over your conversation. Calls can be recorded, routed and diverted, whilst automated ring-back and instant voicemail forwarding allow you to manage your calls around your working schedules.
With the rapid pace of technology, 2025 might feel like a long time coming; but in the storied history of analogue phones, it’s merely a blink of the eye. If your company isn’t ready yet to ‘hang up’ the landlines, be warned - there’s not long left before that receiver is put down for good.
Everything that has an advantage has its disadvantages. VoIP telephony is not exempt from this rule.
Here are the downsides associated with the VoIP service you need to be aware of:
1) RELIABLE INTERNET CONNECTION REQUIRED
For starters, your VoIP service is only as good as your internet connection. If your network bandwidth is low, the service is bound to suffer.
VoIP doesn’t use as much bandwidth as you might expect. It’s essential that VoIP devices receive low latency on your network. Each device should have at least 100 kbps upload speed available. A good connection has less than 70ms ping and jitter, which measures the latency and stability of your internet connection.
The bandwidth your business needs will depend on the number of concurrent calls you plan on making. The best way to determine this is to run a bandwidth test on your current network.
Related: Is VoIP Reliable? Nine Useful Tips You Must Know
2) LATENCY AND JITTER
Aside from speed, there are other connection issues any internet-based technology can face: latency and jitter.
When communicating online each message (whether it be email, video, or audio) is broken into bits of data called “data packets.” These packets are then reassembled at their intended destination to create the original message.
Latency and jitter are when these data packets either hit delays in transmission or get improperly re-assembled. These issues might not even be with your network; major internet backbones modify data routes to deliver traffic reliably, fastest path to a destination. These changes happen automatically with no involvement on your part.
WHY LATENCY AND JITTER OCCUR
- Poor Internet connection — VoIP requires more bandwidth than regular web surfing. So, if you find your Internet speed wanting, it might be a good time to have an honest conversation with your ISP.
- Inadequate router – For VoIP service to run smoothly, it needs a specialized VoIP router. This is a router configured for packet prioritization so that it affords higher priority to voice traffic over data.
- Insufficient cables – Ethernet cables come in a range of categories or power levels. For VoIP, it’s best to use a Cat-5e Ethernet cable or higher. Lower cables may not be able to operate at high enough speeds.
HOW TO FIX LATENCY AND JITTER ISSUES
- Enable jitter buffering
- Opt for high-speed Internet — Contact your internet provider about available bandwidth options.
- Upgrade ethernet cables — Use a CAT-5e or CAT-6 Ethernet cable on all VoIP devices.
Businesses tend to migrate from the traditional copper-wire telephone systems to VoIP systems for two reasons:
- Bandwidth efficiencies
- Reduced costs