IP Phone System — What Is It?
Let’s start by describing the new type of phone system that businesses are now using to replace traditional phone systems in their offices. An “IP Phone System” (sometimes called an IP PBX) uses the technology of “IP (Internet Protocol)” to carry the voice conversations in your office. This does not necessarily mean it uses the public Internet. An IP Phone System uses IP technology within the private data network of a business in a single location or across a private network.
The same cabling that a business uses for its data network is used to carry the voice traffic of the phone system. In some ways they are totally independent and just sharing the same cabling. In one way they affect each other. They are independent in that if the data server goes down, the voice will still go through. Your phone system will still work. Likewise if they phone system goes down, the data will still go through.
The way the IP Phone System and data network could affect each other is in the capacity or “bandwidth” of the network, both in the office and going to the outside world. Data is “forgiving” meaning it is not time sensitive. If it is delayed by several tenths of a second or seconds to move your data back and forth the quality of the data doesn’t suffer.
However, voice is time sensitive. It must occur in “real time” which typically means there can’t be more than 150 milliseconds (0.15 seconds) of delay in moving the voice traffic between its destinations. If the combined voice and data traffic is more than the capacity of the network infrastructure to handle it then the voice quality can suffer. The network infrastructure consists of the cabling and the equipment throughout the network.
IP Telephony on a properly designed, private network has the same voice quality as traditional phone systems. To be “properly designed” the network must include a proper “Quality of Service” plan and execution with the proper equipment. (That discussion is too much to include in this article. Give us a call.) You can use IP Telephony over your private data network to connect remote sites with multiple workers or remote workers in home offices. If you don’t have a private network between sites you can use the public Internet to access remote sites.
DMS fully understands the importance of communications availability to our business. They managed the entire process of changing vendors and implementing new services while protecting us from any downtime. DMS is always available if we need them...
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