FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
With some voice & data jargon and concepts being new to many businesses, you may have many questions regarding all of these new plans, services, terms and acronyms!
What is PSTN / ISDN?
The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is the international telephone system in which copper wires are used to carry analogue voice signals.
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a newer telephone network in which voice signals are carried using digital technology.
Whether telephone calls are made from either PSTN or ISDN networks is usually hidden from the user.
What is IP?
"Internet Protocol" or IP, is the method (protocol) used to send and receive data between devices over the Internet.
What is IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a function provided by some PBX's, that allow the caller to make interactive choices on how a call is handled, depending on their input. For example, when calling a larger organisation, you can "Press 1 for Sales, 2 for Accounts...".
All PBX's supplied by Maxsum have customisable IVR functionality built-in as standard.
What are the benefits of a premise-based VoIP PBX vs. a hosted PBX?
Hosted solutions can be slightly cheaper, are managed offsite by your chosen provider, but you can’t administer your own phone system and need to rely on your provider for everything. If your provider goes down then you also have NO Operational phone system.
Premise-based solutions on the other hand, allow you to administer your own phone system - you control everything. They are more reliable but can be slightly more expensive if you choose VoIP handsets with the solution. For more in-depth information please see Benefits of VoIP phone.
What happens if my VoIP Network goes down?
If you have no redundancy with your phone system then your entire phone system will be dead! You will not be able to receive or make phone calls.
When you set up a VoIP phone system it is an excellent idea to have redundancy measures in place. If you keep a couple of normal phone lines active then your system will automatically switch to them in the event of a problem with your data network. This is a MUST for phone critical business.
What is VoIP call quality like? I’ve heard some negative reports…
VoIP call quality depends on the provider, the Quality Of Service and your internet speed. If you tick all 3 boxes then a VoIP phone call can be almost indistinguishable from a normal phone call. If you don't cover these bases then you can experience "latency", call drop outs and below average call quality.
How do I guarantee VoIP call quality?
You need a high speed quality internet connection and high Quality of Service Routers (QOS) with Voice Prioritisation. Data and Voice both travel across your data network under a VoIP solution. It doesn’t matter if a data packet gets sent 1 second slower but if your voice packet is slower then your phone call will have lag and sound distorted. This effect is called VoIP “Latency”. QOS routers make sure your voice calls get delivered on time so you get the call quality you need. For the technical people, according to a white paper from Brooktrout Technology, latency starts to affect phone conversations when it exceeds 150 milliseconds each way, and is unacceptable when it exceeds 450 milliseconds (nearly half a second).
If you have any questions, or there are any telephony terms or concepts that you are unfamilar with, please do not hesitate to Contact Us - we are more than happy to help out !