Black Cloud Networks Blog

Hosted VoIP Telephone Equipment and Setup

This is part 2 of our series in Hosted VoIP Telephone Equipment and Setup

Guide to Hosted Phone Systems Part 1


Guide to Hosted Phone Systems Part 1 of 2

Hosted VoIP PBX phone system use is growing among small and medium businesses, but how do you know if these systems are the right option for your company? According to researchers at Access Market International small and medium sized businesses will spend $1.56 billion on hosting services for VoIP and PBX phone systems compared to $164.9 million in 2005. This kind of growth seems to indicate that hosted VoIP technology has come a long way from the technology that used to be represented by dropped calls, unreliable service, and static.  So, where does hosted VoIP and PBX stand now, and is it a strong enough technology for you and your business to rely on.

Hosted vs. On-Premises Phone Systems?

A hosted VoIP system works by having a company host the equipment such as a phone cabinet and routing software at its own data center and connects calls to your office using a high speed internet connection. Some local providers use a combination approach; routing calls from the provider’s location over landlines as local calls. Doing this alls them to eliminate the need for on-site phone equipment and a high speed internet connection, and allows the business to use regular phones. This service isn’t available in all areas and can cost more than services that route calls using an internet connection.

Hosted PBX system software can be downloaded from a provider’s website by the business or user or configured by remote access by the provider.  Users can then manage the system settings and walk through the tutorials on how to use the system most effectively.  Most enterprise grade systems require the user to use VoIP phones, although some businesses route calls through their computers and an attached headset.  As with typical on site PBX systems, businesses can designate a certain amount of bandwidth for phone calls and data transfers to ensure optimal call quality.  One upside to using a hosted system is that the user management is simple, and can be done online in real time.


Routing calls: Open Internet Connection vs. T-1 Line

How calls are routed is a very important consideration for hosted VoIP PBX’s  because businesses pay for the connection along with the phone service itself.  Connecting over the internet can effect call quality and is not as secure as having a dedicated connection or line. Having a dedicated connection allows for better security, and increased quality.

Having a dedicated line can easily overcome the cost benefit of hosted VoIP and PBX systems. Before choosing to use an open internet connection addressing security issues is important. Setting up firewalls, and separating data and voice traffic over your network is advisable. Your provider will be able to help you with this and give you an idea of the call quality you can expect.  


Next week we will be discussing equipment, setup and costs anlog with hosted VoIP & PBX



If you are a small to medium sized business owner and haven’t heard of VoIP phone systems, it is time to start reading and considering this option for your business. VoIP phone systems are a type of phone that turns your internet connection into a phone line.

How many calls can be received at a time?

Depending on the position of the primary user, this is an important question to ask your-self when purchasing your VoIP phone system. An average employee will be fine with 3-5 lines, where as a receptionist, administrator, or an employee of a call center will need 10-15 line appearances.

What is the expected use of the phone system?

If the position of the person is a receptionist then there job description more often than not requires them to be on the phone all day, every day. If this is the case, investing in a higher quality phone system will insure frequent and long term use will not wear the phone out or cause damage. In most senses you get what you pay for, make sure to buy a higher quality phone for those positions that need it.

Does your VoIP phone system need routing capabilities?

In many offices each desk is supplied with one Ethernet. If this is how your office is set up, both the computer and the VoIP phone system will need to share a single Ethernet connection. You will need to keep this in mind when shopping for VoIP phone systems because your phone will need dual RJ45 Ethernet ports. In the case your office is equipped with a voice LAN(separate voice network) then you should use an Ethernet drop run to the computer just for the VoIP phone and will be fine purchasing a phone system has a single RJ45 Ethernet port.

Will you be using a power over Ethernet with this set up?

If you are using or plan on using a Power over Ethernet, you will need a VoIP phone system that supports power over the Ethernet connection. If you are not, or do not plan on using power over Ethernet setup and plan on using AC power, consider the placements or availability of outlets at each work station to power the VoIP phone.

What codec and protocol does your provider support? 

Most VoIP phone systems on the market support SIP and all of the major codec’s such as G.729, and G 711. Although, your VoIP phone system, or provider might only support a H.323, SCCP, or MGCP set up. Remember to ask your provider, and phone system vendor what codec’s they are compatible with and what they support. Do not get stuck with a phone system that is not compatible with a provider and vice a versa.

How much money can you spend?

VoIP phone systems can be anywhere from $50.00-$500.00 a piece. While price is a factor, it shouldn’t be the most important factor. Budgets do limit or set limitations on what we can afford, but the most important thing to remember is to take a good long look at each feature of the VoIP phone system, don’t overspend, and remember to talk with both the phone vendor, and your service provider to ensure compatibility.

VoIP Phone System Benefits

While VoIP solutions are becoming more and more popular, many small to medium sized business owners are not aware of the technology or the benefits. Having a VoIP phone system allows for increased efficiency by allowing you to work remotely, add extensions if your business is growing, save money by paying one bill for your internet and phone, along with many other benefits. Remember to do your research before buying and you will end up with a VoIP phone system that fits your budget, and grows with your business.


How to Select a VoIP Business Phone System Part 1 of 2

If you are a small to medium sized business owner and haven’t heard of VoIP phone systems, it is time to start reading and considering this option for your business. VoIP phone systems are a type of phone that turns your internet connection into a phone line.