IP Telephony FAQ
What is IP Telephony?
IP Telephony or VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)
is the transmission of telephone calls over a data network. This
is accomplished by packetization of the voice streams. VOIP enables
users to make telephone calls over a data network like the Internet.
VOIP converts the voice signal from the telephone into a digital
signal that can be transmitted across the data network. At the receiving
end the signal gets converted back to voice. The basic telephone
functions between traditional voice and VOIP are identical. Users
pick aup the receiver, hear dial tone and dial numbers as they’ve
done in the past. In fact, many VOIP users are unaware that they
are not on a traditional PBX phone system until they learn about
the additional features and functions that an IP Telephony system
What are the benefits of IP Telephony?
IP Telephony may use a single infrastructure for
providing both Internet access (data) and Internet telephony (voice).
Only data-oriented switches need be deployed for moving data as
well as packetized voice.
By moving from two separate networks to one powerful
converged network, an IP Telephony solution provides immediate cost
reductions in both staffing and maintenance of hardware and software.
The convergence of voice and data may facilitate the
implementation of such cutting edge applications as unified messaging,
multimedia conferencing, collaborative contact centers, and interactive
multimedia response systems. These applications help organizations
realize business gains by improving operational efficiencies, increasing
productivity, and enhancing both user and customer satisfaction.
IP Telephony Solutions allow telecommuting employees
to become more productive by granting access to all the capabilities
of the telephony software.
How can IP Telephony save money?
One Network: IP Telephony eliminates the cost and
administrative overhead required for separate voice and data networks.
Why buy, support and manage two separate networks when all you need
Toll Bypass: Calls between branch offices may take
advantage of existing IP network connectivity as opposed to paying
for PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) calls thereby saving
money by routing long-distance calls over the IP network.
No branch office PBX: The remote branch may be set
up to appear as an extension to the main branch, enjoying the same
voice-mail, conferencing, and desktop handsets as the central branch,
but without deploying a local PBX to handle off-network calls.
Lower Start-up Costs: Deployment of new IP telephony
services requires significantly lower investment in terms of time
and money than in the traditional PBX environment.
Quicker ROI: Investment payback in most cases is usually
achieved within 12-18 months following installation.
What are the components of an IP Telephony system?
IP Telephony systems are composed of these basic
- End devices: these may be IP phones, traditional
telephones and/or audio-equipped personal computers.
- Gateways: handle signal translations between traditional
telephone equipment and IP network devices.
- Gatekeepers/proxies: the gatekeepers/proxies provide
centralized call management functions such as user location, authentication,
bandwidth management, address translation, etc.
There are so many vendors out there. How do I choose an IP Telephony
An IP Telephony solution should be reliable, scalable,
standards-based, and provide the features and functionality that
would meet your business needs.
Our customized systems employ distributed architecture
that eliminates dependency on any single component for redundancy
and reliability. And adding users or a new branch office is easier
and relatively inexpensive compared to a PBX-based system.
For a detailed quote based upon your specific business
requirements, please visit www.inpath.com
Would I have to install it myself?
3Com Phones.com designs, sells, and installs IP Telephony
systems for companies of all sizes. We will design a customized
IP Telephony solution that will save you money and enhance your
staff’s productivity. 3Com Phones.com provides customer support
and attractive service plan options to fit your needs and your budget.
How difficult is it to maintain an IP Telephony system?
The best IP Telephony solutions have simple, web-based
tools where administrators can control components across the network
with a browser, which eliminates unnecessary trips to remote locations.
Our products use familiar IP networking, management and application
concepts to decrease the learning curve of your staff, reduce or
eliminate the need for additional staff, and minimize training.
Service plans are also available where our knowledgeable
and experienced technicians can handle any problem, upgrade or modification.
For a listing of our service plan offerings, please
follow this link:
Would an IP Telephony solution provide the features my business
IP Telephony is the most affordable voice solution
in addition to offering a rich set of call-processing features including
voice mail, automated attendant, hunt/call groups, call detail reporting,
computer telephony integration, unified messaging, and PC-based
visual voicemail/e-mail clients that enable a peer-to-peer relationship
between a user’s phone and computer. By adding available software
to an audio-equipped PC, users can view recent calls, make calls,
access the system directory, even drag and drop telephone numbers
from other PC applications or web pages. Our customized systems
easily integrate with numerous off-the-shelf applications, including
customer relationship management (CRM), call centers, and speech
recognition. Advanced applications may also be added that will further
Would I be able to link branch offices?
Our customized systems offer an extensive range of
connectivity options to link branch offices as well as support for
remote access users and telecommuters.
How could I introduce an IP Telephony solution to my existing PBX-based
enterprise without a major overhaul?
Some IP Telephony solutions can seamlessly integrate
with legacy PBX-based phone systems and even legacy phone sets in
order to provide a migration path to IP-based telephony over time
and at a rate that suits your business requirements.
What is SIP?
The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a signaling
protocol used for establishing sessions in an IP network. A session
could be a simple two-way telephone call or it could be a multi-user/multi-media
conference session. The ability to establish these sessions means
that a host of modern services become possible.
SIP is emerging as the protocol of choice for setting
up conferencing, telephony, multimedia and other types of communication
sessions on the Internet. SIP may also be used for new types of
communications, such as application-level mobility across various
networks, including wireless, and across user devices.
How does SIP work?
SIP is a request-response protocol that closely resembles
two other Internet protocols, HTTP and SMTP (the protocols that
run the world wide web and email). SIP transforms telephony into
just another web application and thereby facilitates easy integration
with other Internet services.
Rather than defining a new type of addressing system,
SIP addresses are much the same as an email address.
SIP manages the following basic communication functions:
- User location
- Session establishment
- Session participation
- Session feature establishment
What are the advantages of SIP?
SIP can establish multi-user sessions regardless
of media content. SIP achieves this by the opening, modifying and
closing of sessions over IP networks. These sessions could be as
basic as a telephone call or as complex as a multi-party mixed media
SIP makes use of open Application Programming Interfaces
(APIs) where customized services may be programmed and deployed
that combine elements from telephony and other web applications
such as email, messaging, video streaming and the Internet.
For more information on customized programming services
for SIP-enabled phone systems, please follow this link: http://www.inpath.com
What are the components of SIP?
There are two basic components within SIP: the SIP
user agent and the SIP network server. The user agent is the end
system device such as a cell phone, PDA, multi-media handset, or
PC. The SIP server is the network device that handles call signaling.
The main function of the SIP servers is to provide name resolution
and user location, since the caller usually does not know the host
name or IP address of the called party.
I don’t want to be a “Beta” site for an unproven
technology. Is SIP a standard?
Over the last couple of years, SIP has been adopted
as the protocol of choice for signaling. SIP is an RFC standard
(RFC 3261) from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the
body responsible for administering and developing the mechanisms
that power the Internet.
An ever-growing number of carriers and ISPs are offering
SIP-based services such as local and long distance telephony, presence
and Instant messaging, push to talk, rich media conferencing, and
A wide variety of SIP-enabled voice systems and phones
are available that give consumers flexibility of choice and cost.
How can I tell if a SIP-enabled phone system is right for my business?
Choosing a phone system for your business is a decision
that cannot be make lightly. A modern phone system must meet the
following basic requirements. It must:
- Meet the specific requirements of your business
- Scale to meet future needs as your business grows
- Make maximum use of 21st century features and
- Fit within budgetary constraints
Only an experienced vendor-independent dealer/integrator
can advise you as to which system is right for you and your business.
And a full-service dealer/integrator can design and implement the
voice system, train your staff, and provide ongoing support for
any upgrades and/or repairs.
Please follow this link for a free, no obligation
consultation with one of our voice systems experts: http://www.inpath.com
Just give us a call 800-884-6945 and our
friendly 3Com telephony staff will be happy to assist you.
By contacting us, we can also make you aware of specials and
deals on 3Com phones.