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How Do IP Phone Systems Work?

In many ways, using an IP phone system for your business is the same experience as using a regular telephone system. The differences are that you get a bundle of advanced features, and your bill is cheaper than traditional landline phone systems.

how do IP phone systems work

You may be asking, “How is it possible to pay less and get more?” The answer is in the technology behind the scenes. A voice over IP phone system (or VoIP) uses a different technology to transmit audio. IP stands for Internet protocol, meaning your voice signal is digitized and travels over the Internet to complete the call. A detailed explanation of how your VoIP call is placed describes what’s going on behind the scenes, but the user experience of placing and receiving a call is the same.

how-IP-phone-systems-work-diagram

How Does an Enterprise IP Phone System Work?

The Ooma Office base station is the router-like device you will use to establish your system. To use the base station, you’ll plug it into both your analog phone line and the high-speed Internet port. This is how your IP phone system will bridge calls between analog phone lines and digital voice transmission.

For each phone line, an employee can connect to the base station using their preferred device. They can use an analog desk phone like the one they were previously using with a traditional phone system. Or to take advantage of HD call quality, you can plug an IP phone into the base station. You’ll see these Cisco and Yealink brand IP phones listed with our business products, and though they look similar to traditional phones, they are built to handle the capacity of HD audio quality. For conference calls, there are also IP-based conference phone systems that can be used to outfit your meeting room with HD audio speakers and microphones so your group calls are crystal clear.

Additional phones can be connected wirelessly using an Ooma Linx device that is included in the starter pack. The base station can accommodate four phone lines, and a total of 20 phone lines can be routed through a single base station by using a network of expansion base stations.

Employees can also use the Ooma Office phone system via our mobile app. Similar to the IP phones, the app delivers HD-quality audio, but the best part of the app is that you’ll be able to make and receive calls as though you were at your desk phone. There is no need to provide multiple phone numbers to clients and explain when to use each number. It’s one office number all the time. Employees can choose to keep both a desk phone and the app for their phone line, but if they telecommute, they can solely use the mobile app for their business calls.

Benefits to Using VoIP for Your Business

The first major benefit for using enterprise-level VoIP phone systems is the cost savings. Ooma Office’s monthly service costs 66% less than traditional small business landlines like Verizon offers. That means your bills will go down, but as we’ll explain, you’ll also get more features.

Using a VoIP phone system will also give you access to high-quality audio. Ooma uses an advanced voice compression algorithm to deliver crystal-clear calls at only a fraction of the bandwidth that other VoIP technologies use, giving you an unprecedented level of realism to your phone conversations. While traditional phone lines have technical limitations on the sound quality of a cell phone or landline, VoIP calls are transmitted digitally, so they do not have the same quality restrictions.

Depending on your business’ needs, Ooma Office has many additional features that add enormous value to your phone system. Read through the complete list to learn more about the low international rates, customizable virtual receptionist, call forwarding and voicemail-to-email technology, for example.

What Do I Need to Implement a VoIP Phone System?

To set up your Ooma Office, the first piece of hardware you’ll need is an Ooma Base Station. The one-time purchase of a base station is currently on sale for $199.99. The base station purchase includes two Ooma Linx devices that wirelessly connect telephones or fax machines to the Ooma Office base station.

how do IP phone systems work

You’ll then need to consider the telephone handset that each staff member will use. Will they be using traditional phones, IP phones or the mobile app? You may already have traditional phones from your previous phone system, but if you choose to upgrade and take advantage of the HD audio quality, buying an IP phone will cost between $69.99 and $129.99, depending on the model you choose.

In addition to your VoIP telephone hardware, you’ll also need a monthly phone service plan. This costs just $19.95 per month for each user. Ooma makes it easy to start small and then add more users as your company grows. This monthly service plan includes all Ooma’s many features that make your business look like a big deal, even while you’re staying on a small budget.

Have questions about Ooma? Visit www.ooma.com and click on the Live Chat link to talk with a sales representative. We’d be glad to assist you in choosing the right telephone system for your business.

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Jim Gustke

Jim Gustke is a marketing and Internet veteran with a wealth of experience at the intersection of consumer and technology marketing. As Vice President of Marketing for Intuit, he helped lead the reinvention of Quicken and launch the first SaaS version of the popular personal finance software. Prior to Intuit, Mr. Gustke was responsible for business unit management, global branding and product marketing at Lexar Media, helping grow the flash memory company to over $850 million before its acquisition by Micron Technology. He also served as the founding Vice President of Marketing for Ofoto, an online photography service, acquired by Eastman Kodak in 2001. A pioneer in Internet marketing, he joined America Online in 1996 as the marketing leader for GNN, the company’s first Internet Service Provider, and in 1995 as a marketing manager at Polaroid Corporation he led the team that launched the company’s first corporate web site.

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