What is VoIP?
VoIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol is the practice of sending voice over a data network or internet instead of using traditional copper telephone lines. VoIP can be used both inside and outside the office.
VoIP on your internal data network– Here are some questions to ask yourself and items that need to be in place to insure call quality when deploying an Internal VoIP phone system inside your office.
- Cabling: Must be Category5e or Category6. Category3 Cable used for Analog or Digital phone systems will not work. Data cabling must be terminated into a patch panel allowing it to be patched into your data switch.
- Managed Data Switches: Managed Data switches are used to move your data traffic to its proper location. Data Switches must be at least 10/100mbps (Mega Bytes Per Second) or higher to handle your voice traffic. Most switches today are 10/100 or 10/100/1000mbps. Most VoIP phones require power at the phone unlike digital phones. This power can be provided by the switch as long as you have a Power Over Ethernet (PoE) switch.
**Check with your phone vendor for the power requirements of your VoIP Phones.
Voice over IP Scenarios.
- Voice and data on the same network: Companies can savemoney by only installing a single data cable at each telephone location. Then, using your managed switch, to establish a virtual local area networkor VLAN, you can separate your voice and data network. Doing this gives you the ability to set up Quality of Service (QOS) giving your voice priority over your data. (Make sure your managed data switch is capable of VLANs and QOS)
Why worry about voice QOS?
Think about your voice as being the emergency vehicle on a highway. This emergency vehicle needs to get to its destination in a timely manner or bad things could happen. If your voice call does not get to its final destination in a timely manner you could have latency, jitter, or even drop a call. Your voice service needs priority on your data network. If a website opens up a few milliseconds late it does not affect the way you do business. QOS insure that you get a clear call. Without QOS yu a nev sur ou igh get. Chas ar won’t b ty. (You are never sure what you might get. Chances are it won’t be pretty.)
- Voice and data on different networks: Separating your voice and data networks means running your voice traffic on one Category 5 or 6 cable, and your data on another. Setting up separate networks involves having a data switch for your voice traffic and another for your data. This ensures that your voice traffic can travel down its own path. By setting up separate LANs we ensure that a congested data network does not affect the quality of voice calls.