Migrating to VoIP using a gateway
More and more companies have begun considering a new phone system. Chances are you are looking into one too.
Since the last time you’ve looked into a phone system, though, a lot has changed. Today you have more choice than ever.
Despite the choice and after dragging a fine-tooth over the feature sets and costs savings of VoIP vs. Analog phone systems, you’ll likely find that moving your phone system to VoIP is a conclusive no-brainer.
But that doesn’t mean that the PSTN isn’t useful, nor does it mean that you necessarily have to completely replace your existing phone system – thanks to VoIP Gateways.
VoIP gateway overview
VoIP gateways can come across as a bit confusing but hold in there as I will guide you via layman’s terms through these devices powerful capabilities and functionality.
VoIP gateways are a piece of hardware that have the standard purpose of converting Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) telephony traffic from the PSTN (Plain ‘ol Analog Lines) into digital IP packets for transport over an IP network. VoIP gateways can also be used to translate digital IP packets into TDM telephony traffic for transport across the PSTN.
That’s great but….how do VoIP gateways actually work and what does that mean to me?
VoIP gateways are actually rather simple. Think of a VoIP gateway as a bridge between the IP land and the Analog world. Depending on the origination of the voice traffic, a VoIP gateway will convert the voice traffic into proper form to be received by the destined network (IP or Analog). Meaning, Analog phones can be integrated into your VoIP system as can PSTN (POTS) lines.
VoIP gateway applications
Basically, there are three primary applications for a VoIP gateway (which also happen to be the most popular and common uses for a VoIP gateway).
- VoIP connectivity for your Analog PBX system – It is possible that you had just purchased an analog PBX and or your organization does not want to spring for a new VoIP system or is too large to execute a wholesale tear out. Using an FXS analog VoIP gateway or a digital VoIP gateway you can VoIP enable your existing PBX system. An FXS gateway affords the opportunity of the benefits of VoIP calling without the costs associated with installing a new VoIP System.
- Using Analog Endpoints (traditional telephones) with your VoIP system – For most organizations the phones sitting on desks represent the biggest investment made when purchasing a phone system. That’s why you may not want to replace your existing desktop phones. While analog phones clearly cannot shine a shoe to IP phones in terms of functionality, there is no need to waste a recent investment you have made into Analog phones or if they work, replace them. Enter the FXS gateway. In using a FXS gateway, you can connect traditional analog phones to your VoIP phone system giving you the ability to further the life of your investment on analog phones.
- PSTN connectivity for your VoIP phone system – The final use for a VoIP gateway is one that is used by those who have decided to replace their existing phone system with a VoIP system. Your ability to send and receive phone calls is critical to your business. With VoIP, if a network connection is down or internet connectivity is lost… you will not be able to send or receive calls (including emergency dials). Luckily, you can create a fail-safe for this scenario by implementing a FXO or digital VoIP gateway to connect to the PSTN giving you failover and life-line capabilities.
In closing, migrating to VoIP can be done using a VoIP gateway. Stay tuned as next week’s blog will describe in more detail how to leverage your existing handsets with a VoIP gateway. If this guide has helped you further dive into the process of purchasing a VoIP gateway ot you have further questions, please do not hesitate to give me a call at 716.250.1990. I will do my best to further educate with honest and accurate information.