TDM-based calling, also known as “traditional” calling, is a thing of the past. Digital offers a number of benefits, and that’s why voice-over-IP (VoIP) has been adopted by businesses of all sizes and will continue to steal market share from TDM-based telephone service. Even telephone companies are replacing their old analogue infrastructure with the IP infrastructure used to transmit VoIP—the phone networks are going VoIP, too!
But not all VoIP is created equal.
The industry has come a long way toward improving the quality of VoIP calls, and there’s no technical reason why VoIP must have inferior call quality to what came before. In fact, VoIP offers the possibility of high-definition calling, which is a calling experience much above what TDM calling could offer. VoIP can and should be a better calling experience than what came before.
Making VoIP a spectacular improvement upon TDM calling takes effort both from providers and from the consumer, however; both must have the right stuff in place to make VoIP work well.
On the provider side, it is important that their network has the right infrastructure to deliver VoIP without bottlenecks. This requires good equipment and also good partnerships, since it is possible now to ensure call quality and use better paths through the Internet if the right partnerships are in place. So it is important that you make sure your business has selected a VoIP provider who has the foundation for good quality calls.
Some of this foundation for quality calls can be uncovered with a little research online, but it also is true that not everything can be known about a company without more work than is reasonable. So it also is important to use a VoIP provider with a good reputation within the industry. This helps ensure that even if not every detail can be vetted, there’s a good chance the provider is doing it right. Reputations exist for a reason usually.
It also is important to make sure that the packages the VoIP provider offers are right for your business. There are many ways that VoIP can be packaged, with some effectively being clunky solutions and others being smooth and seamless to use. This starts with knowing what your business needs, then with doing due diligence. Not all VoIP solutions are the same.
Finally and perhaps most critically, it is important to make sure that your business is not the bottleneck that reduces VoIP quality. One VoIP executive recently complained to me that whenever call quality is bad, his company gets blamed. But usually it is the fault of the user because they don’t use a fast enough network connection.
There’s some truth to this complaint. One of the most important ways to ensure good call quality is to have a good network. A good cell network ensures better mobile calling (VoIP or otherwise), and a good business connection to the Internet ensures that the VoIP packets that make calls sound good are able to reach their destination on time.
VoIP can be a big improvement on traditional calling—but it also can be a big headache with the wrong provider and a poor connection to the Internet.
Edited by Alisen Downey