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HOSTED IP PBX

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How It Works

Hosted PBX VoIP service is as simple to understand as the connection between your desktop PC at home and the internet. Your desktop PC at home turns on, and is immediately connected to the internet. All you had to do was plug a network cable from the back of your PC's network port into your internet router. Now as long as your internet service is up and running at home, your PC is able to surf, send email, conduct an online video conference, make a Skype call, and anything else you might need to do on the internet. Similarly, an IP phone is sort of like a mini-computer designed to do just one thing, act as a fully functional business telephone. Like the desktop PC, the IP phone plugs into your internet router using a regular network cable, and once turned on, can make calls, forward calls, hold calls, transfer calls, check voice mail, and perform all the functional tasks you would expect out of a business grade phone. As long as the IP phone has a connection to the internet, it will function perfectly as a business telephone loaded with real time PBX features that go beyond what a traditional analog or digital telephone could even dream of. Thanks to this level of flexibility, an IP phone can be taken anywhere in the world that has an internet connection and function without geographical boundaries. You can literally take your IP phone with you to another country, plug in to your hotel's network, and conduct business as if sitting right at your desk.


Ensuring Hosted PBX VoIP Quality

Going back to our desktop PC example, 2 things other than the PC were needed for the PC to be connected to the internet: an internet router and a working internet service. To ensure high VoIP quality we must make sure that both of these things are also high quality, especially the internet router. The internet router acts as the permanent bridge between your local network (the desktop PC and IP phone) and the internet. This means that everything you do on your PC that involves the internet (email, web surfing, web conferencing, etc.) passes through your internet router. Similarly, every single VoIP call you make or receive from your IP phone also passes through your internet router. This means that as you add more PC's and more IP phones to the local network, the internet router will deal with more and more information passing through at any given moment. Once you think of your internet router as a busy bridge, it is easy to understand the importance of having very strong bridge. We can help you in this regard by making sure your internet router does the job.

The second thing involved in our desktop PC example was the actual internet service. The internet service itself should be stable. There are different types of internet service including DSL service, high speed Cable modem, T1 line, Bonded T1 lines, T3 lines, and business or metro ethernet. Hosted PBX works perfectly with any of these types, as long as the internet service coming into your location is stable. We recommend calling your internet service provider and have them run all of their diagnostic tests and health checks every once in a while.


What about bandwidth?

Bandwidth is how the speed of your internet connection is measured. Bandwidth is measured in bits per second.
1bps = bits per second
1kbps = Kilobits per second (1,000 bits per second)
1Mbps = Megabits per second (1,000,000 bits per second)
Gbps = Gigabits per second (1,000,000,000 bits per second)
Bandwidth is measured twice, and when doing a bandwidth or speed test there is a result for upload and another result for download. A typical DSL or Cable modem will upload at 768kbps (kilobits per second) and download at 6.0Mbps (megabits per second). As you can see the upload speed is much slower than the download speed, and this means there is much more available bandwidth when downloading from the internet versus when uploading (sending information) to the internet. Hosted PBX VoIP service travels in both directions at all times, so the upload bandwidth will be what limits the amount of VoIP traffic that can safely pass through without sacrificing any voice quality.


How much bandwidth do I really need to run a Hosted PBX?

Hosted PBX VoIP service does not consume any notable bandwidth until you make an external phone call. Usage including checking voice mail, and dialing internal extensions within the company require negligible bandwidth. If there are no external calls made, the bandwidth consumption is 0. Once you receive or make an external phone call the bandwidth consumed will be a very conservative 90kbps (kilobits per second). If you have 2 external calls running at the same time the bandwidth consumed will be 180kbps until either one of the calls hangs up, at which point the consumption of bandwidth drops down. This means you will take the maximum amount of external calls that your company receives at the same time, and multiply by 90kbps.


Example:

Widgets-R-Us has an office-wide maximum of:
10 simultaneous external calls @ 90kbps consumption per call = 900kbps of maximum bandwidth consumption

This means Widgets-R-Us should have 900kbps of available upload (send) bandwidth as well as 900kbps of available download (receive) bandwidth. In this case a business class symmetrical DSL line clocked at 1.0Mbps upload x 1.0Mbps download would do the job. A T1 would also do the job because a T1 has 1.5Mbps upload x 1.5Mbps download bandwidth. The T1 in fact could handle even more calls. The important thing to know is how many concurrent maximum calls your office will have and the upload bandwidth available on your internet connection.

 





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