Call quality can potentially make or break a small independent telephone company. The stakes are high, with the success of the customers’ operations depending on high-quality telephony. From call centers to technical support and help desks to field services, nearly every area of an organization can be negatively affected by dropped calls, static on the line, and other call-quality issues.
Historically, issues relating to fax and modem issues—echo, packet loss—have made independent telephone companies wary of trying voice over IP (VOIP) or SIP services. Modern IP telephony can offer a failsafe option in ensuring call quality for a telephone company. Some long-distance companies have been using SIP for transport for years— without their customers being aware that they were not using a traditional telephone system.
Today’s VOIP telephony systems offer a high-quality mode of communication, with a modern SIP call being equal in quality to a traditional phone call.
When looking for help in setting up an IP system that delivers a high standard of call quality, there are a number of factors your company should keep in mind.
Choosing the Right Partner
For smaller telephone companies looking to move into IP telephony, the most important step is finding a partner with the right level of experience. This saves a lot of time, and a lot of expenditure, allowing a much smoother transition to an IP system. Working with network partners with proven, best-in-class technologies allows a company to offer an effective combination of choice and cost while ensuring the most important factor: maintaining a high standard of call quality for customers.
Modern IP providers are more experienced, networks are more robust, and the quality of modern equipment allows callers to use the service without feeling they are experiencing a drop in call quality.
As a result of effective partner relationships, smaller, independent telephone company can also enjoy:
- Cost savings through reduced equipment and infrastructure cost.
- Easier network management.
- Flexibility in route choice.
Route options are an example of the flexibility IP telephony brings to both smaller independent telephone companies and to their customers. A good IP partner can offer a choice of routes for calls. This allows the phone company to choose from a number of route options:
- Round robin.
- Alternating route.
- Dedicated route.
- Dedicated route with backup.
Each option has pros and cons. Be sure to discuss your needs with your provider to ensure the most effective choice for you and your company.
Ask Questions and Test Claims
When choosing an IP telephony provider, ask a lot of questions. Be very clear about your specific requirements to ensure they can be met. If the provider can’t explain their technology and how it can address your particular business needs, you need to find a provider that can.
Ask about the carrier’s partners, too. Who are they working with to ensure the quality of your communications? What’s the state of their relationship?
Asking questions is an important step, but you shouldn’t stop there.
When choosing a partner, it is always a good idea to test out their services. You may expect that prospective partners will make great claims for their products, but without a thorough testing program in place, it’s impossible to be sure that these claims are accurate. Before making any kind of commitment with an IP telephony provider, ensure all claims of call quality have been rigorously tested.