A guide to nbn™ phone technology
If you’re planning to connect to business-grade nbn™ and you’re considering which phone system your enterprise will need, this guide looks at the types of technology available and how to determine which would be the best fit for your business.
First, let’s take a brief look at terms:
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and it allows you to make phone calls via the internet. The voice is converted into data packets, which are transmitted over the internet and then reassembled into speech at the other end.
VoIP has a number of advantages for business users including;
- Cost – the cost of local and national calls via VoIP is significantly cheaper than landline calls regardless of distance, international calls are up to 90% cheaper, and internal calls between dedicated numbers are often free.
- Features – call waiting, caller ID, call forwarding, group voicemail video conferencing, auto attendants, call recording and a host of other features come standard with VoIP plans for a low monthly fee.
- Call quality – while the quality of VoIP calls was not the best in the past and depended a lot on your service provider, if your VoIP service is connected via the nbn™ network, your calls are likely to be as clear and reliable as traditional landline calls.
A PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is a telephone system within an enterprise that switches calls between users on internal lines and allows them to share a certain number of external lines. Its purpose was traditionally to save the cost of having a direct analogue phone line between each user and the telephone exchange.
Today, PBX systems are digital and fully automated (a PABX is another term for PBX), use virtual rather than actual phone lines, and provide features such as call transfer, voicemail, call recording, interactive voice menus (IVRs) and call queues. A PBX can be onsite at the company’s premises or hosted offsite in the cloud, such as the service offered by Wideband.
SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol and Trunk is a connection between two points, and a SIP Trunk is simply a protocol that allows you to make phone calls via the internet. Organisations often use SIP Trunking as a means of connecting their traditional PBX equipment to modern IP communications networks.
What types of business phone systems are available?
When choosing a phone system for your enterprise, you basically have a choice between:
- Landline – a traditional analogue phone system using physical lines and managed by a telephone company.
- Virtual phone system – connects a business phone number to remote employees via their own mobile or home phones.
- VoIP – uses your internet connection to send and receive calls as data packets.
- Cloud and on-premise systems – enterprise or hosted VoIP where the PBX is onsite or in the cloud.
Which is right for you?
The phone system that’s right for your enterprise will depend on a number of factors including:
- the size of your business (how many phone users you have),
- the type of industry you are in (whether telephony plays an important role), and
- your budget.
If you’re a large organisation with your own IT department and the budget for a traditional landline system, this may be the most reliable option for you. However, landline systems are being phased out and will become more difficult to purchase and maintain in the future, so your budget might be better spent obtaining high speed nbn™ connectivity and all that comes with it.
If you’re an SME wanting all the benefits of a sophisticated phone system at an affordable price, then a VoIP system might be your best bet and, if you opt for hosted VoIP, you’ll save even more by not having to purchase and maintain any onsite equipment.
If you’re a large organisation with multiple locations and want your phone systems all on one platform, then a VoIP system hosted in the cloud might also be your best option, as it can be accessed from any location and scaled up or down according to your geographical needs. But if you don’t feel comfortable using the cloud or have compliance requirements that may not allow for it, an on-premise VoIP system may be the best choice for you, as although you will have to purchase and maintain the equipment, you will have full control over your network.
And finally, if you are a business with most of your employees working out of the office, a virtual phone system may be the best solution for you. These systems offer a range of features including voicemail, automated receptionists, call forwarding and call screening. The main downside with this type of system is that because you’re using mobile phones, call charges can soon add up.
At Aussie Broadband, our phone solutions are not out of the box but customised to fit your business, and are designed to save your organisation both time and money.
Contact us now to discuss which phone telecommunications solution is best suited to your organisation’s needs and budget.