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Are you using VOIP for business?

 11:46 pm on Apr 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

VOIP or voice-over-IP. Some telecom services are offering phone numbers in international locations for inbound calls to you. Have you considered using this feature to generate more sales? I am based in the USA, but am thinking of buying a local number in the UK for sales opportunity. I could also use it return phone calls from international customers. Any thoughts?



 12:17 am on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

We use VOIP for calling some countries where long distance rates are high. Using a Major Providor

I would say this is still a consumer level product and can be a good secondary element. It is not reliable enough for serious or dedicated business apllications. IMHO.

The lines ditch out often, maybe 10-20% of the time (seemingly when you have a good prospect on the line) but that is to third worldish countries like Peru, Columbia, at other Latin Americas. Maybe to the UK it is more consistent.

We definately get our value out of it, but would not rely on it in any way.


 12:27 am on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use Vonage here in the USA and bought a London number a few months ago. The trick is, unless you are answering the phone 24/7, the phone calls from Europe can happen pretty early in the morning East Coast Time. I do not answer the phone 24/7 and made it really clear on the website that the London number is for European's convenience and that we are in the USA and we start answering the phone at 3:30 pm. Because of the low cost of adding the London number, yes it is worth it. The London number also immediately gives your USA-based biz a much more worldwide "feel."


 10:06 am on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Maybe to the UK it is more consistent

We communicate between offices in the UK, and for homeworkers, for which it's fine.

The quality is variable, and the connection can drop without warning, so I don't think its good enough yet for talking to customers.


 6:12 pm on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

We asked the same question a while back with similar replies - after 3 months' use, the service has been superb and can only remember problems with a couple of calls out of the hundreds received. I would give it a whirl based on our experience, certainly.

Corey Bryant

 7:52 pm on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree. We use Vonage at home - very good. But technology is ony catching up. I remember VoIP from 1998. Back then, it was not that great but now it is a lot better. If you have a T1 or some connection like that, I am sure your quality will be improved



 2:11 am on Apr 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

My entire business phone system works over VoIP. Multiple locations, many many agents, many DIDs, lots of outgoing trunks.

Properly setup, VoIP is perfectly fine for business use.

The probelm with VoIP and services like Vonage is it's too easy to slap that ATA behind your router and start -- without really knowing what is involved and what you're getting into.

People still don't understand that faster isn't always better when it comes to "realtime" things like VoIP.

I save a fortune and get lots of advanced features -- but I had the advantage of requiring high speed data links at all of my locations anyways, so it was cheap to throw a little extra bandwith in for the VoIP on a rock-solid connection.


 3:16 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

We tried VoIP between two offices, one in Maryland and one in Northern Virginia (both within 20 miles of Washington D.C.) It did not work out for us. The quality just wasn't good enough for our 10-20 sales people. I'm not an expert on VoIP but I know that it has huge potential to become a really excellent thing, but at least on the East Coast, it's not ready yet.


 4:16 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

My understanding is that you need 90Kbps per line. So, 10 would mean 900Kbps, or 20 would mean 1.8Mbps. Did you have a T1?


 4:28 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

My understanding is that you need 90Kbps per line

About a quarter of that, with a high quality codec.

GSM can get it down to about 14kbs.

If you just want telephone numbers in other countries though, terminating to your PSTN line, you don't need to go VoIP. You can take advantage of the services available without actually changing anything at your end.

Your probably using VoIP 50% of the time already, you just don't know it, as it's in use as "glue" between networks and has been for several years.


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