All You Need to Know About Hosted VoIP
This article covers everything you need to know about hosted VoIP, its evolution, and the differences between SIP Trunks, Hosted PBX, and Hosted VoIP.
From SIP trunking to Hosted PBX –Where does it all start?
If you’re new to all of this, here’s a quick overview of the transition from SIP trunking to Hosted PBX:
SIP trunking was a revolutionary upgrade from analog trunking. The telephone system operated through copper wires and hosted connections through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Although, it had a limited capacity of simultaneous users and excessive physical equipment. SIP trunking moved communication from telephone lines to over the internet. It eliminated the restriction on the number of concurrent calls. You could have 2000 calls, all through that one line connected to your private branch exchange (PBX), and all of that through data packets sent over the internet. We have reached, at this point, the initiation of VoIP: Voice over IP.
Yet, there was still room for improvement, making the process simpler and eliminating capital expenditure. After all, why should every business owner need a separate physical PBX? That’s where Cloud PBX enters the conversation, where virtual servers by your VoIP provider replace the utility of the on-premise PBX box.
The development of VoIP
The development and progress of VoIP and the extent of its capabilities have been congruent with the development and progress of the internet itself. Communication over the internet has come a long way, from emails to instant messages to phone calls and all the way up to elite video conferencing platforms with complimentary features that simulate an office experience.
Similarly, the journey has been in steps for VoIP – each specializing in the service to become the best fit for the corporate world. VoIP originally started with simple phone calls over the internet and later expanded to voicemails, but the initial stages were challenging. The lack of internet bandwidth and availability hampered VoIP’s potential as a sustainable and efficient communications solution. However, as internet quality improved due to the widespread adoption of broadband Ethernet and the beginning of cross-software communication, the quality of VoIP dramatically enhanced, and the product’s salient features – cost and speed – began to entice many organizations to invest in it.
Then came videoconferencing, which took the market by storm. What was important throughout these developments was that they grew to include mediums of communication that enabled everybody and anybody, irrespective of place, equipment, and wealth, to communicate efficiently. So what started from PC to PC grew to include telephones, landlines, and later, IP phones and softphones.
What to consider as the customer?
So, now that you know what Hosted VoIP and VoIP are, how do you decide for your business?
If you’re already working with SIP lines and an in-house PBX, and it’s not outdated, then it makes sense to use it as your protocol and gateway to the internet.
But if you’re new, have yet to make that investment, or are considering a shift, then a Hosted PBX is the way to go. Why?
- Requires only an internet connection and IP.
- Can be set up and deployed within a day.
- No capital expenditure and no need for a physical PBX.
- Monthly fee depending on users, making you flexible if you want to scale up or down.
- Greater range of usability and additional features, including automated messages and call recording that can be integrated into your softphones.