What is VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)?

Over the past few years, the acronym “VoIP” has become a household term. Anyone who

has made an international phone call has probably heard the term used at one point or

another. It has become a popular topic among “techies” discussing its numerous

applications in today’s society, as well as politicians discussing its growth and implications

on the world’s economy. Although most people have heard the term, very few actually

know what VoIP is and what the hype is all about.

VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and it simply means what it implies: sending

voice conversations through the internet. Rather than sending voice through the traditional

telephone networks owned by the telephone conglomerates, VoIP uses the internet as its

medium to send voice. Since voice is nothing more than data, any internet connection in

the world can be used as a VoIP terminal for making calls with the use of a VoIP gateway or

an IP Phone.

A great reference for gaining a better understanding of how Voice Over IP works as opposed

to the traditional telephone network can be found on the How Stuff Works website at the

following URL address:

http://www.arnserver.com

What are the benefits of choosing VoIP?

Everyday more and more organizations switch their communication networks partially or

fully to VoIP. There are many benefits of choosing VoIP over the traditional telephone

network. The major benefits that these organizations are realizing include cost of

equipment and deployment, versatility, flexibility, interconnectivity, and time to market.

Cost Benefits of Choosing VoIP

  • VoIP equipment costs are generally cheaper than traditional telephone switches.
  • VoIP in a direct point-to-point environment has no toll charge.
  • VoIP technicians are usually more readily available and more cost-effective than

standard telephone switch technicians.

  • Billing & Call Management software for VoIP is generally less expensive than similar

software for legacy technology.

Versatility

 

VoIP is allows your network to be extremely versatile. VoIP allows you to interconnect with

multiple carriers (routes) very easily and quickly. Within a matter of minutes you can add

additional carriers that will provide you with the lowest route to a particular destination.

There is added flexibility so that if one route is down, your network can automatically reroute

to another carrier.

Interconnectivity

VoIP makes it easy to interconnect to multiple & redundant carriers. With traditional PSTN

networks, interconnecting with multiple carriers required additional expensive hardware,

and an extensive amount of time to setup the connection, sometimes taking several

months. As well, there is a very high connection charge occurred per month to maintain the

connection. With VoIP, the interconnection is very simple, taking only a matter of minutes,

and without the need for additional hardware and no connection charges.

Time to Market

VoIP allows your company to bring its solutions into service quicker than standard telecom.

You can connect to different routes quickly and reliably. This allows you to bring new routes

to customers at cost-effective pricing in a timely manner. You no longer need to wait for

months to connect to new routes.

How does PEC fit into the VoIP Industry?

PEC is a developer of software applications that integrate seamlessly with VoIP technology.

PEC is also a proud partner and reseller of Quintum Technologies, developers of the popular

Tenor VoIP Gateways. Combining the power of Quintum VoIP hardware with the versatility

and robustness of our software, we have developed numerous products to take advantage

of the benefits that VoIP offers. PEC develops the following products for the VoIP industry:

CardSaver™ VoIP Billing and Call Management

  • Prepaid Calling Card Industry
  • Postpaid Calling Services
  • Pinless Calling Services
  • Call Shop Services
  • Inter-office communications
  • Wholesale Long Distance Termination

VoiceSaver™ Voicemail and Auto Attendant

  • Voicemail Message Bureaus
  • Auto-attendant systems for offices

Insight IVR (Interactive Voice Response)

  • Allows customers to develop customized call flows
  • Used in almost every industry

Calling Card and Pin-less Solutions

In the prepaid calling card or pin-less calling business, like most other businesses, more

startup companies fail than succeed. Our intention is not to deter you from starting your

own prepaid calling card business; it can be and has been for many people an extremely

lucrative business. Our intention is rather to explain to you the differences between a

successful card business and a failing one so that you may learn from their mistakes.

PEC has a great deal of experience designing and integrating with products developed for

the Prepaid Calling Card and pin-less calling industries. We have helped over 400 clients

deploy VoIP and calling card solutions around the world. We have platforms running on 6

continents and in over 70 countries around the world. Through our day to day

conversations with our clients, we learn a good deal about how the industry is changing and

about new trends that are appearing in the market. If you have any questions, please do

not hesitate to contact us.

Setting Up a Solid Infrastructure

First and foremost, you must develop a solid infrastructure for your prepaid calling card

system to run on. Without a solid infrastructure, you will be spending more time worrying

about your system’s integrity than marketing your product. The following is a list of

equipment and services that you will require to start the business. We have also included

recommendations that we feel will ensure a solid infrastructure.

  1. Billing, Card, and Call Management Software

We list this item first not only because it is one of the products that we provide, but because

it is the most vital on the list. Choosing a good billing software will ensure that every call

made through your system is tracked and no call is left unbilled. CardSaver™ by PEC is not

only a robust, dependable software package, but it is also the simplest and most userfriendly

package in the industry. CardSaver enables you to view reports on traffic passing

in and out of your system. CardSaver also gives you complete control over your calling

cards, including PIN generation, usage fees, expiration dates, and much more. It also

allows you to manage your agents/distributors and effectively sell your products through

resellers. CardSaver is a vital component for developing a solid infrastructure.

  1. VoIP Gateway

The VoIP gateway that handles all of the calls into and out of your system is the next vital

component. If your hardware fails, your customers’ calls will not go through. 98% of our

customers use either Cisco or Quintum products. Some higher-end customers also use

Nextone gateways. These two vendors have a large following and many online forums exist

where you can go to receive answers to any questions that you may have regarding

configuration or specifications.

  1. Server(s)

Server technology is constantly changing, and unless you are in the business, it is a

challenge to stay abreast of the latest and greatest. For this reason, our recommendations

on the right server to choose are based on the current technology available.

Systems with 60 concurrent calls or less:

Rackmount Server

Intel Dual Core Processor

1 GB RAM

(2) 80 GB+ hard drives

10/100/1000 Ethernet Adapter

Systems with 60 to 240 concurrent calls:

Intel Quad-Core Xeon Processor

2 or 4 GB RAM

Dual 10K SCSI hard drives (120 GB or more)

Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

Systems with 240 to 750 concurrent calls:

(2) Intel Quad-Core Xeon Processor

8 GB RAM

Dual 15K SCSI hard drives (250 GB or more)

Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

If you are handling more than 750 calls – we recommend using multiple servers.

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