Selecting a Wholesale VoIP Provider for your buisness needs
While communicating with my new customers in the last 10 years, The top questions that I faced, were related to VoIP Provider. The customer with previous experience with VoIP faces no issues selecting and configuring a VoIP Provider however It was really a difficult task for a new customer to find out a suitable VoIP Provider for his needs. A customer with no background in the VoIP industry hardly grasps the basics of VoIP and consequently, he faces difficulty to select a proper VoIP Provider.
Finding a proper VoIP Provider involves a number of technicalities like protocol selection, codec selection, number of concurrent channels, call generation rate, quality issues, and compatibility with the application. Below we will discuss these issues and will guide newcomers to find out a proper VOIP provider for their needs.
The scope of this article does not allow me to indulge in Voip Basics, therefore, I am providing related links that will help the reader to know more about the Basics of VoIP. http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/What+is+VOIP
Who Are VoIP Providers
We have usually known VoIP provider as VoIP service provider which offers VoIP Internet telephony solutions to residential and commercial customers. They also provide the services and hardware to subscribers under monthly rates. The mechanism of call transmission of VoIP providers is different from traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). VoIP providers utilize packet-switched telephony to transmit calls over the Internet it is different from circuit-switched telephony.
Types of VoIP Providers
VoIP Providers can be divided into the following three main categories
1. Residential VoIP
Residential VoIP basically resembles a traditional home phone service where a pre-configured IP phone or adapter connected with the internet to provide home phone services whereas traditional home phone services connected with PSTN Lines.
2. Business VoIP
A Business VoIP can be hosted PBX, On-Premises PBX or any other kind of VoIP Services offered to commercial users.
3. Wholesale VoIP
A Wholesale Voip focused to offer services to services providers or customers that interested to deal in bulk Voip like wholesale DID buying, wholesale sip termination, or sip origination services.
Key Factors Before Choosing VoIP Service Provider.
As our focus is wholesale VoIP providers therefore we will consider important points that you should keep in mind while finding and selecting a wholesale VoIP provider for your needs.
1. Capacity requirements.
First, you need to estimate the maximum number of concurrent calls that your system can process at a time and after finding out the number of concurrent calls, you need to confirm and demand from the VoIP provider that whether he will fulfill our capacity requirements. It is also called concurrent channel capacity or a number of ports required.
As an example, if you have set up a system with 100 concurrent channels/ports then said setup will be capable to dial out 100 outbound calls at a time.
2. Protocol supported
You also need to take care of compatibility issues and need to find out whether the technology behind your VoIP Provider and Your system is compatible with each other means if you have a SIP compliant setup then your VoIP Provider also has a SIP compliant setup.
In telecommunications, a communication protocol is a system of rules that allow two or more entities of a communication system to communicate between them to transmit information via any kind of variation of a physical quantity.
Following are the main protocols used in VoIP
SIP: - Sip is the most widely used protocol in the VoIP industry. SIP offered by IETF and now it is the de facto standard of the VoIP world. SIP treats signaling and data differently also routes them with different routes.
IAX/IAX2 – Inter-Asterisk Exchange Protocol was offered by Digium and it uses both signaling and data link on the same trunk
H323: H323 is ITU VoIP protocol.
3. Codecs supported
Codec selection also plays important also both VoIP Provider and your setup needs to support the same codec to communicate with each other that is why you have to confirm provider about required codecs.
Codec are used to convert our analog voice signal into digital data from transmission from source to destination through internet and this digital data signal reaches the destination, these are again converted back to an analog signal using codecs and we hear the voice message.
G.711 ulaw (supported in the US), High quality, Low processing but high bandwidth consumption as bandwidth consumption will be 64 kbps per channel.
G.711 alaw ( supported in Europe), High quality, Low processing but high bandwidth consumption as bandwidth consumption will be 64 kbps per channel.
GSM GSM is basically a cellular standard codec available free, average quality and low bandwidth requirements 13 kbps
G.729 needs licensing to be used in production. High quality, High processing requirements but lower bandwidth needed about 8 kbps per channel.
CPS stands for call per second, it is basically called generation rate and you have to verify from a provider that your VoIP account does support required CPS rates. As an example, a 100 concurrent calls setup may have 10 cps.
It is also required to match calls per second rate of VoIP Provider connection with our system, As an example, if we have a 10 cps account from a VoIP provider then we should also have full capacity
5. Origination or Termination
If We are calling other numbers from our system, we will require a VoIP Provider Account that offers Termination services however if others are calling towards our setup then we need origination services to receive incoming calls.
6. A-Z range
A-Z means alphabetically all countries supported, A VoIP Provider with A-Z termination means all destinations across the globe are supported and we can call all countries.
7. Competitive call rates
Also, you have to compare call rates of VoIP providers for your required destination, VoIP providers will differ with pricing and you have to select the best option keeping in mind both quality and price.
8. Quality of Service (QoS) Latency / Jitter and Packet Loss
QoS (Quality of Service) is a major issue in VOIP implementations and we have to take all measures to guarantee that packet traffic for a voice will not be delayed or dropped due to interference from other lower priority traffic.
Things to consider are
Latency: Delay for packet delivery, time that voice packets take from source to destination. ITU-T G.114 recommends a maximum of a 150 ms one-way latency
The following link gives detailed insight about network delay
Jitter: Variations in the delay of packet delivery are called Jitter. Voice packets are transmitted from the source sequentially however some packets take more time to reach their destination due to the different routes they travel to reach the destination. The maximum tolerable value of jitter is 50 milliseconds as higher delay will badly affect the quality of service.
Packet Loss: Too much traffic in the network causes the network to drop packets, The default G.729 codec requires packet loss should be less than 1 percent
For more detail, please visit the following links
<font="5">10. Fax support
If there is a need to add support Fax over IP in the system then you have to verify from a provider that whether it supports Fax either G.711 pass through or T.38. T.38 fax support is more reliable and it is recommended when compared to G.711 pass through.
Here you will find detailed comparison of both Fax through G.711 pass through and T.38 faxing.
<font="5">11. Internet Bandwidth
A G.711 Voip call takes an 87 kbps data rate and we have to keep in mind while setting up a Voip based system.
List Of Some Voip Provider Companies that offer wholesale VoIP and Flip