It is difficult to imagine, but 2022 will mark 30 years since the first GSM phone (the early version of the cell phone for younglings that don’t know) was sold in South Africa. The revolutionary Orbitel 901 was the car phone that received the first SMS, and that’s about it. No memory, no connectivity, no idea what bandwidth is, and definitely no clue what the heck VoIP means. What a difference 30 years can make… and aren’t we glad for it, mostly. In today’s adapt or die world, especially where technology and your business is concerned, it can become difficult to stay ahead. On the other hand – the advantages and projected future of some technologies make the adoption of it the sensible and forward-thinking thing to do. VoIP is one such technology.
What is VoIP
Whether you know the term or not, you probably already know what VoIP is and you use it every day. When you use WhatsApp or Telegram to make calls on your phone (or computer). That’s VoIP. When you make voice calls with Skype, Zooms, Teams, etc? That’s also VoIP.
Voice over Internet Protocol is exactly what it sounds to be – you use the internet to make voice calls. The examples above, though, are limited to making calls from one account to another account of the same type (for example WhatsApp account to WhatsApp account). The full capacity of VoIP is more than that as it connects your telephony system at the office or home through the internet to the standard PSTN (Public Switch Telephone Network). You can call any number, whether the receiver also uses a VoIP system or just a normal landline system.
The advantages of VoIP
As technology advances, we move further and further away from the old Obitel 901, and we embrace going wireless with better connectivity, better and easier communication, and reduced cost services. VoIP allows us to do most of this.
VoIP doesn’t have to function within the same physical limitations that the traditional telephone network needs to with physical lines dedicated to a call. Rather, it converts the voice data into network packets that can be transmitted over the internet. VoIP requires less maintenance and less hardware and installation needs. What’s more, the possibility of having all your telephony and data needs handled by one company adds to the fact that VoIP is cheaper for a business than traditional telephony.
Mobility and remote working
Since VoIP is not limited by landlines but just by your connection to the internet, it is completely mobile. If your office moves location, you just take your VoIP system with you. If you and your employees need to work from home you still take your VoIP with you as long as you have the VoIP software installed on your laptop or mobile device. VoIP’s dependence on connectivity is a slight drawback as no internet connectivity could potentially mean no VoIP, and it is also reliant on the bandwidth available to you. New technology like 5G is making that less and less of a problem, though.
One of the massive advantages of VoIP is its ability to scale up or down with your business with little to no fuss. If your business grows rapidly, you can organize with your provider to add “lines” to the VoIP system and voila, you have all the capacity you need. If your business keeps growing, you might find that you need a connectivity network that better handles your increased VoIP system. As your VoIP and internet provider can easily be the same company, all you need to do is call them up and get the ball rolling to improve your connection.
Your VoIP services come with an array of additional features that will benefit small to large companies. Auto Attendant, Call Routing, Call queues, and many more features are at the ready for you to use to maximise your telephony system.
VoIP technology has already come a long way and it is difficult to imagine that you could do any business without it. Without a doubt, it is here to stay as 5G technology will make it smoother and more reliable. The development and increasing adoption of Cloud Computing, Unified Services, and increasing integration of IoT (Internet of Things) only add to the fact that VoIP is the future of communication.