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Experience of VOIP (voice over internet) Phones

Experience of VOIP (voice over internet) Phones

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We have around 10 staff i our office. We are a manufacturing business, and, these days not enormous telephone users. Very little use is made of the phone in our production areas.

Existing phone system is very old (1998) but still carries out the basic tasks we ask of it.

Currently we have an ISDN30 setup, paying for around 10 concurrent calls. Typically we probably use up to three lines.

Now, we have been approached with a view to moving to internet based calls (VOIP). I have a question about call quality. We have superfast broadband here, so that should be sufficient.

Does anyone have comparable experience, and if so is there any deterioration in call quality versus conventional telephone lines?


Replies (13)

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By Wanderer
29th Oct 2015 15:52


Stop hesitating, look at slash your costs, get better service & never look back!

You are paying for 10 lines. VoipFone effectively give unlimited lines at no extra cost. No maintenance charges Call quality for us is better than it was with BT.

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By elvisisking
29th Oct 2015 17:39

We got ours last week

They're fantastic, we've got six in total. A week in and we should have done it three years ago! Recommend Force 36 if your in the Essex / Cambridgeshire area.

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By Colin Goldring
31st Oct 2015 09:50

Tried and tested

I've been using VOIP for the past 5 years, my provider is Soho66.

I had some teething troubles but that was caused by the stability of the internet I was using rather than the VOIP provider, since that's been sorted out I've had no issues and couldn't recommend it enough.

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By Alonicus
05th Nov 2015 10:30

See if there is a way you can check quality before taking the plunge, and if there is anything you need to do technically to maintain quality. I'd definitely ask lots of questions about whether your internet upload speed is enough to support current internet use plus VOIP calls.

I dread talking to some support lines, because they use VOIP and sound so muffled. What is impossible to know is whether the problem is that they use VOIP, or that they are trying to push too much data down a cheap line, or that it's a call centre with 1000 people in the room all using cheap headsets that don't sufficiently damp down the other 999 people talking.

It's a shame there isn't some way to measure the clarity of speech over it that could be built into an SLA.

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By djn24
05th Nov 2015 10:36

Bad experience

We had a bad experience although it was a number of years ago.

The quality of the call was not as clear but worse than that was when ringing clients on a mobile our number wouldn't show. Instead it showed 'out of area call' or something along those lines.  Lots of clients wouldn't then answer as they thought it was a nuisance call!

We have been looking at changing our phones now as we are with BT.  They are pushing the cloud package but for that we would need to change our phones which is quite expensive with BT.

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By daveriches
05th Nov 2015 10:37

Superb but....

broadband goes down then you have no internet but more important no lines in or out - make a contingency plan. If you have no internet and no lines in or out - how you going to call your ISP to find out what problem with broadband is? We keep a POTS line just for this.

Also Quality of Service on your switch and set vlan for the phones separate from your pc network - provider will help with this area I imagine but you need to ask the question.

Only 10 seats so should be a no brainer and will absolutely slash your costs.

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By elliottchandler
05th Nov 2015 10:43

The right way to go

Hi we were with Vodafone five years ago and it was terrible. We then decided to explore other options and even look at selling the technology ourselves even though we are an IT provider. We moved to a new provider and haven't looked back since. We did a lot of testing to make sure the quality was good. We learnt quite a bit about how to do it well including the type of broadband to use and the type of router to use. Also we tried lots of different handsets. There are some great benefits with a VoIP since I can call any of our field staff free of charge and have great flexibility over how we want the system to work. There is a web control panel which allows us to make changes when we want and we can use the system on our mobiles like phone extensions.

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By jonathan.kempson
05th Nov 2015 10:55

Alternative way of cutting costs

There is an alternative way of reducing your cost, which is simple to reduce the number of ISDN 30 channels that you're paying for to, say 4 or 5.

If you do move to VOIP, I'd recommend using a second and dedicated broadband line for it.  That way there's no chance of other use of your internet affecting your phone calls, now or at some random future time.

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By Wanderer
05th Nov 2015 11:32

All I can say is we have used VoipFone for two years now.

Excellent customer service, by phone & email.

Excellent call quality. We not only run our phones, we use the internet almost constantly & we also run a VPN across the same Broadband connection.

Our total phone costs (excluding the broadband connection) this year will be under 15% of what they were in the last year with BT.

We don't have to worry about phone system breakdown or pay system maintenance charges.

If the Broadband goes down we have a rest! The vast majority of our work requires an internet connection & the phones not working is probably the least of our concerns. Can always use the mobile to ring the broadband company anyway.

I would recommend that you buy decent phones from VoipFone at the start, They come completely set up & for us it really was a matter of plugging in & they just worked!  You can further configure the phones or your virtual PBX or most of the time the company will do it for you.

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By machon
05th Nov 2015 12:25

A "delayed" note of caution

I've been using VOIP for a while and for person-to-person calls outside the office it's fine. However, if you have conference calls with more than one of your staff involved the digitisation delay can be an issue; the person next to you speaks, you hear the voice "live", then the voice pops up on the call nearly a second later. Most disconcerting.

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By Fenella
05th Nov 2015 12:41

It works for us on our snailpace rural broadband

We have VOIP and even with our glacial broadband we only have occasional problems with quality - with Superfast Broadband I imagine it will work fine. It has saved us a small fortune in call charges, and we haven't had any problems with caller display when calling mobiles.



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By Peter C
05th Nov 2015 13:00

VoIP pros and cons

VoIP should be far, far cheaper than traditional phone lines (TDM or ISDN).  Most people in my experience also find VoIP quality is very good (I certainly do).  Issues with call quality, as mentioned by Alonicus above, are far more likely to be due to equipment / headsets / handsets at either end than the connection itself.  That said, you do need to have a broadband connection which is fast enough to handle your calls and ordinary internet traffic.  Call quality may suffer if your network becomes overloaded.  With superfast broadband, you should not have any problem unless you are sending some really heavy traffic which hogs most or all your bandwidth (difficult to know what that might be unless you are running a film streaming business...). There are said (by traditional comms engineers) to be some detailed tech issues which can cause the time lag or some other problems on VoIP conference calls, but I've never experienced them. VoIP supports far more features than traditional phones in routing and re-routing calls, handling voicemail etc. etc.  All the ones I need are free in the basic package from my provider (Vonage).  One I particularly like is having voicemails transcribed into text and sent to me by e-mail as they arrive.  You can think of VoIP as a system that can support a variety of applications.  No doubt some more exotic features may attract a charge or may be in more expensive packages, but you need only take these if you want them.  

It is true that if your internet goes down then you also lose your phone connection - but that should only happen very infrequently, and the obvious solution then is to use your mobile(s) as a temporary back-up.  


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By tom123
05th Nov 2015 14:30

Great comments

Thanks everyone, great comments.

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