Understanding VoIP Telephony
Businesses all around the world are abuzz with the excitement surrounding Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony. By now, most people are familiar with VoIP, but do you know how this process actually works? In order to make an educated decision about introducing VoIP to your hotel, it’s important that you are aware of how the technology functions, how it differs from your current landline system, and how this affects the system’s ability to improve your business. In this post, we will break down what VoIP telephony is, and how it operates efficiently and effectively.
Making Use of VoIP in Your Hotel Although computer-to-computer VoIP transactions can be made (think: Skype), or analog telephone adaptors may be utilized, the majority of hotels will benefit most by upgrading to IP phones at administrative phone locations. These specialized phones look exactly like traditional phones, featuring a handset, cradle, and buttons. The difference is that instead of using RJ-11 phone connectors, an IP phone will make use of an RJ-45 Ethernet connector. In other words, these phones will be connected directly to a data switch and will come equipped to be able to handle Internet calling. In some cases, you may also select Wi-Fi phones, which allow you to make calls from any wireless “hot spot”.
Understanding How VoIP Telephony Works
You might take your phone system’s operability for granted, but this isn’t doing you any favors. As a hotel owner or manager, it’s in your best interest to become familiar with the way in which a VoIP phone system will work for your facility. This will help you to understand the benefits of such a system, and make a well-informed decision before upgrading.
With a landline phone system, a telephone is physically connected to a public switched telephone network (PSTN). When a call is made, it is routed through a series of interconnected switches until the call reaches its final destination. Throughout the duration of the call, these circuits must remain open, occupying multiple pieces of physical copper wire until the connection is broken (the call ends). This is why long distance calling becomes very expensive.
A VoIP phone system is far more efficient than this. Instead of circuit switching, VoIP relies on packet switching. Consider the fact that when you’re talking on the phone, the other party is only listening to you. This means that only half of the connection is actually in use at a particular time. With this knowledge in mind, we can safely assume that if the connectivity used is cut in half, the phone system could be more efficient. Cut out the “dead air” (when no one is talking), and things would go even more smoothly. By digitizing voice calls, data packets can bypass a dedicated line and be sent through an Internet-based network with thousands of possible paths. This process, called packet switching, allows the connection to remain open only long enough to send a small “packet” of data. In other words, connectivity is not wasted and physical lines are not occupied by silence; the connection only transmits valuable data from one point to another, until it is closed. This cuts down on the file sizes of data transmission, and also reduces costs.
There’s no excuse for you to remain in the dark with regards to how your hotel’s phone system operates. When you have an understanding of how voice and other data can be transmitted across the Internet, you will truly have the ability to “own” your facility’s communications system and make great decisions in terms of any necessary upgrades, maintenance, or changes. To learn more about how VoIP telephony works and how it can benefit your hotel, be sure to get in touch with a trusted professional right away.
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