VoIp Phone system support

Why Does My Business Need a Phone System Support Plan?

VoIP phone systems are networked, relying on various technologies to function correctly. The days of buying a PBX server and owning it outright are over. Maintenance and support costs can quickly erode any perceived savings from purchasing a PBX.

If you have bought and own your PBX, you will need to ensure it continues to work correctly. Your VoIP service provider will not support your PBX without costs; they only support the VoIP service itself, not the PBX server. Therefore, if you do not have an in-house IT department and you own your PBX, you will most likely need a phone system support plan.

A support plan ensures that your phone system remains operational and that any issues are promptly addressed by experienced professionals. It provides peace of mind, knowing that your communication infrastructure is well-maintained and supported, allowing you to focus on your business’s core activities.

How Does It All Work ?

How does VoIP Work

1. CPE Customer Premises Equipment

Voice equipment at a customer’s location must be maintained properly for optimal performance. Without an agreement from a VoIP provider to monitor and maintain onsite equipment, the responsibility falls on the client. A support plan that includes both remote and onsite support is crucial for a business phone system.

Phones connect to the PABX, which then connects to the edge router (2). If you have a cloud PBX, your phones will connect directly to the edge router (2). Onsite equipment is often neglected but is the most frequent cause of problems with a VoIP phone system. If you own your equipment and do not have in-house IT staff trained to perform regular updates and maintenance, consider a TS Phone system support plan.

2. EdgeRouter /Uplink To The Internet

The edge router is one of the most critical components of a VoIP phone system as it connects the phone system to the internet. While it can be managed by the client or another third party, this may not be ideal. When faced with call issues like distorted audio, dropped calls, crackling, or one-way audio, the router’s importance becomes apparent.

Despite its significance, routers are often overlooked as part of the phone system. VoIP providers typically do not manage edge routers and may not troubleshoot issues caused by them. This can be frustrating for users and business owners alike.

Telecom Solutions (TS) provides business-grade routers with our Internet and Voice services, which we manage for the client. Alternatively, we can work with any third party to identify problems and take corrective action. Our end-to-end support plan includes support for the router, ensuring that your VoIP phone system remains reliable and efficient.

3. Internet Phone lines

Phone lines for VoIP are called SIP trunks. One SIP trunk can handle multiple voice calls, where each voice call or channel is equivalent to one analog copper line. These virtual phone lines rely on the internet to make and receive calls. It’s important not to share a single internet connection for phones and computers. Only Internet via Fibre can be shared, and this may require QOS configurations on the edge router (2).

The best choice for Internet connectivity is, in this order: Fiber (FTTB or FTTH), LTE, ADSL, unlicensed wireless, and lastly, satellite. Telecom Solutions (TS) offers both free and paid SIP trunks. VoIP providers will only support SIP trunks, as depicted in the illustration at points 4 and 5 at the VoIP Provider and Data Centre nodes, respectively. The VoIP provider will often need to speak to someone familiar with your phone system should you require support with your phone lines.


4. ITSP VoIP Provider

ITSP VoIP Service Provider: VoIP was deregulated in South Africa in September 2004. By 2013, Telecom Solutions had transitioned to being a VoIP-only service provider, eliminating analogue lines and systems. Your PABX phone system connects to your VoIP Provider ITSP (4), and your ITSP VoIP Provider, connects to all other network operators. Cloud PABX services and call routing are handled by your ITSP. We can verify remotely if your phone system is connected to our network and take corrective steps if necessary.

Each ITSP distinguishes itself from others based on the technology they use, how frequently they upgrade their equipment, and the capacity their infrastructure can handle. The quality of an ITSP’s equipment and backend staff often determines the cost of services to an end-user.
The saying “you normally get what you pay for” cannot be more true when it comes to Telecoms service providers.

5. Phone Exchange ( Data Centre)

Data Centre – Network Operators or Telephone Exchange: An ITSP VoIP Provider (4) connects to all other network operators (5) to route calls. Each network operator performs call termination and connects the call to its desired location. Network operators pay each other a call termination fee set by ICASA. Calls are billed based on time, and Telecom Solutions (TS) uses per-second billing.

Some providers have sharing agreements with others and may route calls based on the most cost-effective way rather than the most optimal way. This can sometimes lead to poor call quality and extremely low call rates, as providers may bypass the costs involved in call termination fees. Overall, VoIP rates can be well over 60% less than traditional PSTN rates.

It is also important to bear in mind that countries worldwide have begun what is called the PSTN shutdown, meaning an end to copper phone lines.

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