Voice over internet protocol (VoIP)

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					Voice over internet protocol (VoIP): October 2008                                               1

You’ve heard the Skype, now hear the reality with A Dodo’s guide to:

Voice over internet protocol (VoIP)
A protocol that is optimised for the transmission of voice through the Internet or
other packet switched networks, and is now considered part of the backbone of
every day telecommunications.

                                                               new technology, traditional values.

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Voice over internet protocol (VoIP): October 2008                                                        2


As early as 1973, voice was being transmitted over the early internet. It is a
concept that has been of interest almost since the first comuter network. The
technology for transmitting voice conversations over the internet has been
available to end-users since at least the 1990’s, and is now considered the
backbone of the telecommunications industry.

The chances are that you’re already using as IP network with every call that you

What is VoIP?

Legacy or traditional telephony is very simple. On a Public Switch Telephone
Network (PSTN) two way conversations travel down a telephone line in a straight
line, rather like traffic flowing up and down a motorway in opposite directions.

The invention of the internet created an alternative way of carrying information
down the line.

IP networks take segments of data and sends them seperately as “packets” to
their destination. They are not sent in a constant stream like the PSTN
telephony, they are often sent over different routes and align themselves when
they reach their destination. For data this is fine because you are not normally
worried over which order the data or the information appears on the screen. With
voice, of course, the words you speak have to arrive in the right order. The
sophistication of the network required to ensure voice packets are carried without
deterioration may have taken a little longer to get here, but has now arrived.

Once businesses and consumers start to make and receive digital calls on the
same IP network their data flows in and out on which could be that of the
company LAN1 or a home broadband connection – a whole new world of
opportunities is opened up.

    * See page 5 for more infrmation on LAN.

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1.      Reduced operating costs by centralising system resources.
        The most famous benefit to VoIP is the significant cost savings through
        more effective use of the company’s network. By integrating the existing
        voice and data networks like the costs are automatically lowered by
        maintaing a single network.

2.      Potentially it can significantly improve call handling and the ability to
        streamline communications between sites, remote offices and home-
        workers. Thus improving all internal communications.

3.      It can deliver enhanced telephone services and the ability to introduce
        new network applications such as email, messaging and business
        databases that can be integrated into a VoIP system.

4.      More functional cost savings can be found in remote workers and satelitte
        offices. They can be connected from their home or their branch office via
        and IP PBX extension telephone and in doing so, become an integral part
        of the overall telephone system.

5.      Voice over IP is a viable communications solution for business of all sizes.

6.      Deployment of technology applications such as VoIP is a means to an
        end, not an end in itself.

7.      Improved productivity – full telephony functionality with easy desk to desk
        dialling and call transfer throughout the WAN.

8.      Wireless-compatible – cordless functionality is available with WiFi
        standard handset and IP DECT phones.

9.      Enhanced customer service – simple integration with CRM packages
        providing screen pop and customer database integration.

10.     Flexibility – you can set up a fully functional office wherever there is a
        broadband connection. Home workers save money on office space and
        improve productivity.

11.     Communications can be centralised in part or wholly e.g) switchboard
        working and voicemail.

12.     Adds, moves and changes to your telephone system are simplified and
        can be centrally managed.

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1.      Networks designed solely for data communications will need to undergo a
        full health check to ensure that they are capable of supporting voice at the
        same time.

2.      The company’s network (LAN/WAN) may need to be upgraded to be
        capable of supporting VoIP to ensure sufficient bandwith is available to
        make calls between sites and an accpetable quality of speech is achieved
        across the network.

3.      Balancing the needs of voice and data communications traffic requires
        careful planning, new software and, in some cases, additional hardware to
        manage the solution. A competent and experienced supplier can address
        all these issues and there is a strong case to be made for using one
        network supplier across your network to ensure continuity.

4.      Each site will either require a range of IP telephones or an IP enabled
        PBX to ensure full functionality.

Summary of the condierations that need to be made;

       Is quality of service required for guaranteed bandwidth.
       Reliability of network infrastructure so that voice is given priority.
       Costs, for equipment, installation, sufficient cabling and ongoing
       Support. Can the network be effectively supported?
       Security. The network must be secure, look at voice encryption for VoIP.

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Virtual Private Networks

Fact sheet

A Virtual Private Network is a private network built on Internet Protocol (IP) that
helps extend the reach of your company’s network either nationally or globally to
connect remote sites or users together.

Instead of using an expensive dedicated connection such as a leased line, a
VPN uses “virtual” connections routed through the internet from the company’s
private network to the remote site or employee.

A private IP Service can utilise your existing infrastructure to create a secure
network based VPN solution at less cost than building and operating a private
VPN internally.

The benefits of VPN:

       Increased connectivity control
       Cost effectiveness
       Improved performance due to increased bandwidth efficiency
       Greater network resilience, security and privacy

The considerations of VPN:

       Do I have the bandwidth necessary for both the data and the voice traffic?
       Do I need a VPN with Quality of Service? This offers guarenteed voice
        quality across a Broadband network, but usually costs more from the
        Internet Service Provider (ISP).

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Voice over internet protocol (VoIP): October 2008                                                  6

Remote Workers

Fact Sheet

One in five companies currently use VoIP for remote working and the rest, 79%
is expected to be doing so by 2006.2

Hard Benefits; At least one-third of office space costs can be cut through remote
working. 3

Soft benefits; Increased productivity and the scope to employ staff who live
outside the commuting range.

                          “Work is an activity, not a place”4

Organisations are pushing the importance of the work/life balance up the
agenda. This has become especially prevalent since the Government brought in
The Flexible Working and Worklife Balance directives in April 2007. VoIP has
made teleworking a valuable and very real option to SME’s and beyond:

       The technology available can make you feel your in the office even if your
        hundreds of miles away.

       The same features that are available at your desk, can be made available
        remotely by using an IP PBX extension telephone. Features such as
        voicemail, desk-to-desk dialling, system speed dials and extension status.

       Through the VPN technology, a company is able to monitor staff
        productivity using the same statistics that would be available in the office,
        at home.

       Broadband connections and IP Telephony are a highly cost effective and
        efficient means of enabling home-workers and remote workers.

  Aastra Telecom, “Guide to IP Telephony”, 2005, p. 14
  Aastra Telecom, “Guide to IP Telephony”, 2005, p. 14
  Tim Glynn, Managing Director, Adodo Management Services, 2001

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