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Top 5 Considerations in Choosing a Hosted VoIP Provider May 26, 2010

Posted by TelUS Consulting Services in VoIP catagory.

As more companies adopt Voice over IP (VoIP) communications, hosted solutions are an increasingly popular choice, enhancing VoIP’s inherent cost savings over traditional telephony with the added convenience of fully managed services.

Industry statistics show that more than one-third of companies adopting VoIP are choosing hosted services – a number that will almost certainly increase as more companies become aware of this cost-saving, feature-rich and scalable alternative to traditional phone service and expensive equipment.

However, choosing a hosted VoIP provider is not without an element of risk. The service delivery method will largely determine the quality of the voice call, as well as create a positive (or negative) experience. This brief whitepaper provides best-practice guidance, in a “countdown” format, for small and medium businesses (SMBs) considering hosted VoIP services, to help ensure their satisfaction with the hosted VoIP solution they choose.

#1 – Network and voice quality

Many providers offer hosted VoIP services targeted at SMBs. But not all providers are alike, nor is their service. Many hosted VoIP providers tout a high-quality voice experience, but they neglect to inform potential customers that their voice traffic is quickly handed off to the public internet, where it is susceptible to jitter and packet-loss – which translate into echo and static that make for a distinctively low-quality call experience. In investigating potential providers, SMBs should look for quality indicators including:

• Private Secure MPLS Network: The provider should carry voice traffic on its own private network, to guarantee bi-directional voice quality. As noted above, MPLS networks carry voice traffic over a private network, insulating calls from the unpredictability of internet performance.

• Offers QoS (Quality of Service) with Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation: The provider should guarantee a high level of QoS, utilizing dynamic bandwidth allocation to ensure that voice traffic gets priority over any data traffic, thus minimizing any packet loss. QoS capabilities are native on MPLS networks.

Tomorrow we will continue the discussion on choosing a hosted VoIP provider. TelUs Solutions has designed, installed and managed Hosted VoIP applications and stands ready to assist you in your selection. Give us a call for all your VoIP needs.

Joe Buck, N.C.E.

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