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xeonox

join:2002-11-05
Los Angeles, CA

[General] Anyone know of a good VOIP Service for business?

Anyone know of a good VOIP Service for business? Im thinking about 10 lines for a small business in USA, i running 6Mbps DSL.


Trev
IP Telephony Addict
Premium
join:2009-06-29
Victoria, BC
kudos:6
said by xeonox:

Anyone know of a good VOIP Service for business? Im thinking about 10 lines for a small business in USA, i running 6Mbps DSL.

There are many good options, but the best option for you depends on what you need.

- do you want by the minute or flat rate billing?
- do you want to run your own gateway or have a hosted service?
- do you want to manage the phones yourself or have them managed by the provider?
- do you need reliable fax?
- do you want to use ATAs with an existing pbx or replace everything with new IP phones?

Those details would be most helpful to narrow down the options sufficiently to provide recommendations.
--
I represent AcroVoice, a full service Canadian VoIP Provider.
Buy your Obihai ATA shipped from within Canada.

Stewart

join:2005-07-13
kudos:30
reply to xeonox
In addition to Trev's comments:

A typical 6 Mbps DSL line has an upload capability of only 768 kbps (sync rate), which is about 650 kbps of useful IP bandwidth. That is sufficient for only 6 or 7 concurrent calls, using a G.711 codec. Fitting 10 concurrent calls would require a compression codec such as G.729, which slightly degrades voice quality, won't work at all for fax, and may cause issues with DTMF. In addition, if you try to share a slow line with other Internet applications (web browsing, email, etc.), you will need a complex QoS setup and may still have occasional voice quality issues. Can the location get faster service (especially upstream) at reasonable cost?

Independent of the above, you might want to consider a system with one or more POTS (or possibly cable VoIP) lines, to ensure that some incoming service is available, in case of Internet or provider outage. However, this choice generally precludes the use of a hosted system.

An alternate way to gain reliability is to have two Internet services, e.g. both DSL and cable. When both are working, dedicating the slower one to VoIP will ensure that quality is not degraded by other traffic.

During an Internet outage (or some types of provider failures), a hosted system would normally route incoming calls to employees' mobile phones, or to voicemail. Is that acceptable for your business?


VexorgTR

join:2012-08-27
Sheffield Lake, OH
kudos:1
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to xeonox
My fears are the same, in that your Internet lacks the power needed to drive a system like that. I have a few suggestions, but they will have to wait until the Internet situation is resolved.

Normally, new sign ups see Internet costs go UP (along with bandwidth), and Phone costs come WAY down... it results in a net savings.


xeonox

join:2002-11-05
Los Angeles, CA
@TREV

- do you want by the minute or flat rate billing?
FLATE RATE

- do you want to run your own gateway or have a hosted service?
WHICHEVER MOST CHEAPER

- do you want to manage the phones yourself or have them managed by the provider?

if i can get away with paying a 1 time setup fee to set it all up and have them located internally it would be nice. if not i can do a provider.

- do you need reliable fax?
YES

- do you want to use ATAs with an existing pbx or replace
I HAVE TO RESEARCH THIS QUESTION, I DONT QUITE UNDERSTAND. RIGHT NOW WE ARE ON OLD ANALOG LINES FROM ATT

everything with new IP phones?
YES/NO DOESNT MATTER, CAN IF WE NEED IT

I AM AFTER LONG TERM SAVING, UPFRONT COSTS DOESNT MATTER AS LONG AS ITS NOT $1000'S, UNDER OR AROUND $1500 STARTUP COSTS BUDGET
------------------------------

@Stewart
yes we host email and webserver and about 8 people do basic web browsing. i can setup a QoS no problem. Faxing is a must have. so G.729 is out of the picture. the idea of having 2 Internet service lines (6.0Mbps DSL @ $70) is a good idea as right now i pay almost $900 is service a month to ATT for DSL and 10 vioice lines.

-----------------------------

@VexorgTR

right now i am with ATT paying $900 a month for 6.0Mbps DSL business service and with 10 lines for Voice calls with an average of about 4-6 lines on use max thru-out the day.

lilarry
Premium
join:2010-04-06
reply to xeonox
If you need 10 lines then reliable phone service is likely important to your business. In this case, if you don't know exactly what you are doing, I would suggest not fooling around and hiring a reliable, competent, creative VoIP reseller to analyze your needs and Internet and LAN capabilities, and design a solution. It may cost you a little more than doing it yourself, but you will still realize the tremendous cost savings of VoIP, unlock some features you are probably not even aware of, plus have it done right without the headaches. There are several resellers who participate on this board - I think some are in California. (We are resellers ourselves, but on the East Coast.)


VexorgTR

join:2012-08-27
Sheffield Lake, OH
kudos:1
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to xeonox
Ok... so to actually do a proper convert... you'd need internet with some real power. Usually Cable or Fibre Optic. I'd suggest trying to max out performance, but 10M down and 2M up should cut it. Many places this costs about 300$/mo.

Once that's in place, then you can convert the phones to VOIP. Appia would likely run about 120$/mo for the phone service. So you'd see a decent net savings.. and you'd have better overall internet too!


ymhee_bcex
Premium
join:2006-04-21
Tarzana, CA
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·PHONE POWER
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to xeonox
xeonox,
These question just touch the surface of the selection criteria that you will need to consider. I've gone through similar process a little over a year ago: »[General] SIP trunking vs Hosted PBX

A lot depends on how comfortable you are administering day-to-day operations of the in-house PBX. It's not something you can just try - if phone system goes down, you may be shot

You may want to talk to a vendor (I like Nextiva or PhonePower; there are many others) and see what they offer. One big problem that they all price their services in different way (by extension, by concurrent call, etc.) Even the terminology differs.

For what it's worth, we ended up with running PhonePower and Voipo (not a PBX solution). 4 simultaneous calls, 2 incoming numbers. Faxes are handled by ExtremeFax.
--
Technical problems are more often than not management incompetence masquerading as technical issues
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