IP Telephony or VoIP (Voice over IP) can be confusing. Here are the answers to the most common questions we get asked.
If you still don't find the answer you're looking for please just give us a call or set up a free test account and try it out with your Callagenix services.
The most common questions are listed below:
- What can I use as a phone (what equipment do I need)?
- What Internet connection do I need?
- How many IP telephones can I run?
- How do I set up VOIP?
You will require some type of VOIP IP telephony device. This may come in the form of:
- VOIP IP or SIP Telephone. This is like a normal phone except that it communicates using an IP connection. These phones plug straight into your router, LAN or LAN hub. You do not need to have your PC on for the VoIP phone to work.
- Softphone. This is an application that runs on your PC and uses your PC's soundcard and microphone for telephone conversations.
- Analogue Telephone Adaptor (ATA). This device converts analogue traffic from your analogue (normal BT type phone) into IP traffic. This device is similar to a VoIP Gateway device except, depending upon the model chosen, it is designed to connect single or multiple analogue phones.
- VoIP Gateway. This device converts analogue traffic from your analogue phones into VoIP traffic. They are usually referred to as FXS (Foreign Exchange Station) devices.
Ideally, you should have a broadband connection with an absolute minimum speed of 128 kpbs. If you live in an area with a poor internet connection then VoIP may not be the best option for you. Please contact us and we'll be happy to check for you and recommend the best option.
You need to ensure you have enough capacity to handle calls for every user with a VoIP device. If you have a fast connection there's no reason why several users can't all route their calls over the same connection.
If a few people are using VoIP we usually recommend an additional broadband connection dedicated to VoIP. This ensures high call quality and prevents other internet use from interfering with the VoIP system.
There are various reasons for requiring a fast and reliable internet connection:
- You need at least 64 kbps download plus 64 kbps upload bandwidth to make an uncompressed VoIP call. Otherwise you will need to compress your VoIP traffic using compression “codecs” such as G.723 or G.729 which can decrease the bandwidth to approximately 20 kbps. However, such methods of compression are usually used in situations where multiple calls are going over the same connection, not when bandwidth is restricted to under 128 kbps. If you have dial-up you will be very fortunate to achieve decent call quality, even when using compression.
- A broadband connection is usually 'always-on' thereby ensuring that you can receive and make calls with minimum interruption.
- Depending on how you use your Internet connection, you want to make sure that you have enough bandwidth leftover for typical Internet traffic (eg emails, web browsing, file downloads)
When using a broadband connection, you automatically have an emergency fallback should you have any issues with your ISP or internet connection. Should your internet connection fail, calls can automatically be routed by the Callagenix service to your standard PSTN (BT phone line).
For larger users (50 phones and above) you may need to consider a private dedicated DSL connection. Although these connections are more expensive than ADSL broadband, you can achieve speeds of up to 100Mb. For more information on this please call us.
Assuming that you have met all the requirements listed above, please follow the three steps outlined below.
If you are unsure regarding any details then please contact us on +44(0)333 247 0000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
Step 1. Request IP telephony for your account.
Login to your Callagenix account and click on the IP telephony link and tell us what internet connection, router and IP telephone or software you have. Once completed, our support department will enable your account and send a confirmation request.
Step 2. Confirm IP telephony required.
Once you respond to the confirmation email we will complete the activation process and then you can start setting up your IP telephone devices (hardware or software).
Step 3. Setup an IP telephone device (get a number)
This is the final step. Your confirmation email from Step 2, will contain the following instructions:
- Login to your account.
- Select the IP telephony link from the left hand menu.
- Press the "Get a new number" button, This will display a list of available numbers ending in '0', (the numbers ending 1 to 9 are reserved for your use when you want a 2nd or 3rd number, etc..)
- Select a number and press the "Get number" button.
This will allocate the number to your account and display a page containing the details to be entered into your IP telephony device (hardware or software).
Once you have requested a Callagenix IP telephone number, an email will automatically get sent to the account holder's email address detailing how to set your IP Ttlephone device up. The email will confirm your IP telephone number PIN, password and the IP telephony URL (may also be called gateway, registrar, domain etc.. depending on the hardware or software you use).
Note: Step 3 will need to be performed each time a new IP telephone device is set up. Each device should normally have a unique number.
Testing and activation
Once you have setup an IP telephone device, you can test it by dialling 01215 100993. You can also enter the number into your Call Divert or Group Divert services as a number to receive calls on.
From your account login you can change the CLI to be that of one of your account's live numbers and also set up outbound call recording if required.
How many VoIP phones you can operate on your connection will depend upon the size, upload speed and contention ratio of your internet connection. In addition, you also need to consider how many VoIP phones will need to run simultaneously so you can maintain your preferred call quality.
As a general rule, if you can allocate 80-100K upload speeds per telephone, you can achieve the best high quality calls without compression. this is what we recommend. It's possible for you to use more VoIP telephones over the same connection by compressing the VoIP calls using compression “codecs”, but this will make your installation more complicated and can affect call quality with intermittent “echoing” and conversation break-up.
We would suggest talking to one of our VoIP technical consultants to establish the exact specifications of the internet connection that will be required to run your VoIP service as well as your normal IT requirements.
Click here to view our range of supported VoIP phones for use with your VoIP system
To get started with VoIP, please call +44 (0) 333 247 00 00 or click here.