Monday, April 06, 2009

Is VoIP Phone Service A Better Value Than Traditional Phone Service?

I think the value in VoIP is relative only to a business's needs. VoIP is a great value for scenarios that involve mulitple sites, employees working from home and a traveling workforce. Typically the small to medium business with one location and none of the above set of circumstances is still better served by TDM due to it's stability, clarity and reliability.

The original question is actually a loaded one (on purpose to "test" your awareness).

The fact is that VoIP comes in many flavors and in many types of architectures. I would advise that when you say "VoIP service" you need to be specific.

First off I agree that whenever a customer can utilize VoIP service to better consolidate their network and reduce total telecom spending .... it is a good idea.

I also agree that the term VoIP is becoming very standardized and is not a bleeding edge concept anymore.

However lets talk about why people still use TDM (POTS - Plain Old telephone System, or "landlines").

First off, you need to understand the limitations of most VoIP offerings. If you handle VoIP through any old IP gateway then there is no QOS (Quality of Service) for the IP call. This is what many hosted PBX providers give their customers and quite frankly the quality is crappy. Sure it works sometimes but not all the time.

Also access becomes a big issue. A small company might not be able to justify the cost of a full T1 for access (which is dedicated) .... and might opt for a cable modem, dsl, or other shared Internet service. Although VoIP can work in these situations ..... again there is no QOS and you run the risk of the problems you might encounter with shared services.

SO for these customers TDM services still make lots of sense (i.e. pots lines, maybe PRIs for call centers that do not have as much need for data).

There ya go ... a little more information to help make an educated decision.

If you'd like help to do a cost analysis .... comparing providers available in your specific area .... use the "Best Rate Calculator" tools here: Compare Phone Costs

This works for both residential and business applications .... and there's a tool for both VoIP and for land lines (POTS).

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