The Basics

1) What is VoIP, and how does it work?

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) lets you access phone service over the internet. Calls are no longer dependent on old traditional phone lines. VoIP achieves greater functionality at a lower cost for businesses.

This innovation means that communication expenses are much cheaper than traditional phone service.

Many business owners report cost savings up to 70% after switching to phone service to VoIP. These modern phone systems include many business features that boost productivity and revenue.

Advanced Telecom  is your local VoIP providers for businesses.

2) How is the call quality of a VoIP phone?

The call quality of cloud communications systems depends on the speed and reliability of your internet.

You will hear a vast improvement in call quality compared to traditional landlines. Landlines don’t have as much audio bandwidth, which can result in muffled or fuzzy calls. VoIP calls achieve this through HD Voice technology.

The number of HD Voice calls you can handle will depend on how fast your internet download and upload speed is. Find out your internet speed by taking the VoIP speed test.

3) How many calls can I make at a time?

Advanced Telecom allows for unlimited calls. How many is that? It’s up to your devices and your users. A typical VoIP phone supports three simultaneous calls, but that can vary based on the equipment.

In contrast, a traditional phone system would require you to roll over lines to manage multiple concurrent calls. Handling numerous calls at once is one of the strengths of VoIP phone service. Callers will never get a busy signal, even if you only have one phone and one phone number.

4) Are there any limitations to using a VoIP phone system?

No, there are no practical limitations on our business voice service. You can make as many calls, users, and phone numbers as needed. However, to prevent misuse and abuse, only one phone call can be placed per line per second. (This helps avoid those infamous robocalls.)

Additionally, it won’t cost you a fortune to upgrade your current plan. The major strength of our cloud-based phone system is that it’s easy to upgrade as your business grows.

The only thing you need to make sure of is that your internet connection is fast and stable. Your call quality and reliability will be dependent on this.

For emergency calls, Advanced Telcom provides the Enhanced 911 (E911) feature. This feature allows public safety staff to know the address of your phone call.

5) If I lose power, will I still be able to make phone calls with VoIP?

In most cases, you will not be able to connect calls if there’s a power outage. Our VoIP phone system works over the internet. During a power outage, your router will not be able to function, which means there will be no internet access.

The only exception to this is if you have a backup power source that could power the router (and therefore maintain your internet connection). If you use Power over Ethernet (PoE), that may need backup power as well.

In the event of a power outage, you can instruct your VoIP provider like Advanced Telecom to forward calls to a cell phone or direct them to a voicemail box. This solution avoids busy signals and rejected calls for customers.

6) What is a cloud PBX?

A cloud PBX allows you to use all of your company’s phone service that is hosted using a service over the internet.

All the features of a PBX can be delivered seamlessly through the internet instead of hardware located on-site. A cloud PBX can save your company thousands in expenses. Your IT team would instead focus on more significant challenges than messing with an outdated phone system.

Even if you move offices or are overseas, you’ll be able to access your communications systems as well as make and receive calls.

7) Can I record calls?

Advanced Telecom does offer call recording. Select plans include it for a nominal fee since the recordings are stored offsite securely.  Another option is to manually record calls to a thumb drive via the phone USB port.

Recorded calls exist in a digital format for both inbound and outbound calls. These are handy to have on record for both training and legal purposes.

*8) Does Advanced Telecom support conference calls?

Yes, Advanced Telecom provides conference calling capabilities for up to nine participants.

Advanced Telecom conference calls let you control your conference call with powerful admin features. For instance, you can record conference calls, send calendar invites, and more.

For higher capacity and more conference bridges, contact Advanced Telecom to add them to your account for a modest fee.

9) What is an Auto Attendant?

You can view an auto attendant as a virtual receptionist that directs callers to the correct people or departments.

You have probably experienced it before. When a customer calls, they will be greeted by a recorded greeting, which then directs the caller to press a key, depending on what they need.

For example, your auto attendant could tell callers to “Press 1 for accounts, press 2 for Customer Service, or press 3 for technical help.”

It saves time by directing users to the right department without unwanted transfers throughout the day. Advanced Telecom’s multi-level auto attendant functions 24/7 and can adjust the options depending on the time of day, too.

10) Can I keep my current phone number?

Yes, Advanced Telecom offers number porting, which allows you to transfer all of your current business numbers over. It’s a good idea to maintain your existing service until porting has been completed.

General VoIP Questions

Q: What is VoIP?

A: Basically, VoIP uses the Internet to make phone calls, instead of the old-fashioned phone network (known as the PSTN, publicly switched telephone network).

Q: What is Internet Protocol?

A: Internet protocol is what allows you to access web sites and the Internet. It allows you to exchange data with other sites on the web. Basically, VoIP converts your voice into data and then sends and receives data on the Internet.

Q: How does VoIP work?

A: VoIP converts the sound of your voice into data and uses Internet Protocol to send that data. For a much longer explanation, visit our VoIP simplified page. It's, ironically, the technical explanation.

Q: What do I need to use VoIP?

A: You need a high speed internet connection and a VoIP phone. A VoIP phone can be an IP phone, which is a phone designed to work with VoIP. Or a VoIP phone can be a standard telephone, with an ATA phone adapter. Or you can use a softphone, which is a computer program that allows you to make VoIP calls from your computer. You also need a high speed internet connection. This is so that you can make clear calls. You can check your connection speed here.

Q: How do I use VoIP to make a call?

A: Pick up the phone and dial the number you'd like to call. You do have to sign up with a VoIP provider first in order to get service. If you're using a softphone, you will have to have the program open on your computer. Then you can dial the number you want to call. It's pretty easy, we think.

Q: How do I use VoIP to receive a call?

A: Pick up the phone and answer the call. A greeting is usually appreciated. Kidding aside, VoIP should seamlessly replace your current phone service. If you are using a softphone, you will need to have your computer on and the softphone program open in order to receive the call. Then you should just have to click to answer.

Q: Who can I call with VoIP?

A: Anyone with a phone number. You can also conference call more easily and call internationally for much less when using VoIP.

Q: I've heard bad things about call quality with VoIP.

A: We have, too. We're happy to say that call quality, overall, has improved with VoIP and is now as good as or better than call quality on a land line. Most call quality issues are caused by network connectivity issues which have been solved by improved technology. Didn't understand that? Neither did I. Basically, both VoIP companies and consumers have access to better, faster Internet networks. This means that calls sound better. Did the call quality on your latest VoIP call stink? Look for your VoIP provider and write a review.

Q: Does Advanced Telecom sell VoIP?

A: Yes. We can help you decide what you need and provide you with a competitive VoIP quote for your business.  We can also provide you the information you need about switching to business VoIP service.

Q: I am moving soon. Can I take VoIP with me?

A: Yes. VoIP phones work with an IP address. IP addresses don't have physical locations, so that means that you take your IP phone to any physical location that has high-speed Internet.

Q: Do I need a computer to use VoIP?

A: No. With most VoIP service providers, you do not need a computer to use VoIP. You can just use the phone. You do need a computer if you are going to be using a softphone — because a softphone uses your computer as a phone. You will also need a computer if you are going to use MagicJack (which we don't recommend). Most VoIP providers allow you to manage your account online. That's easier to do with a computer.


VoIP Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question about VoIP? You came to the right place.

VoIP Terminology

Q: What the heck is Asterisk?

A: Asterisk is an open source software that allows you to use a computer for VoIP and other communications. Asterisk is free. Most VoIP providers use it. Asterisk is produced by digium.

Q: What does VoIP mean?

A: VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol.

Q: What does SIP mean?

A: SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. In VoIP, it is used in the context of SIP trunking, which is a way of replacing (almost in a literal way) a phone line with the Internet. Check our SIP trunking page for more practical information on SIP trunking.

Q: What does PBX mean?

A: PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange. A PBX is a computer that runs a business phone system. Most businesses use hosted PBXs because PBXs are complicated, expensive, and require special technical expertise. Hosted PBX means that the PBX is administered and maintained by the Hosted PBX provider. Most business VoIP providers offer Hosted VoIP PBX.

Q: What does PSTN mean?

A: PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network. It refers to the world-wide network of telephones.

Q: What does E911 mean?

A: E911 stands for Enhanced 911. It associates your phone number with a physical address so that emergency services can quickly and easily reach you.

Q: What does PIC Code mean?

A: A PIC code is a long distance company's code, which is used to identify the company. PIC codes were very important in the 1990s, when telecommunications was deregulated and lots of long distance service providers came into existence.

Q: What does SOHO mean?

A: SOHO stands for Small Office/Home Office. It is used by VoIP service providers to designate services designed for very small operations.

Q: What does POTS mean?

A: POTS stands for Plain Old Telephone Service. POTS always means traditional landline service (even though companies providing POTS may be using VoIP).