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What Is IP Telephony? The Non-Techie's Guide to Small Business IT

Learn what an IP telephony system is and why one could revolutionise your business, saving you serious cash in the process.

According to some stats, 42% of businesses will be using IP telephony systems for all of their voice calls by 2018. So what’s all the fuss about?


What is IP telephony?

Something of a mouthful, IP telephony is also known as VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol, if you want to be exact).

An IP telephony system uses your broadband connection to route phone calls, replacing traditional ISDN lines.


What is VoIP? (infographic)

What’s so great about IP telephony?

An IP telephony system has numerous benefits over its ISDN predecessors:

  • Call quality and reliability is equal to or better than ISDN.
  • The line rental for business-grade broadband is cheaper than ISDN.
  • VoIP to VoIP calls are often free.
  • Call and line capacity can be upgraded effortlessly, without additional costly installations.
  • A hosted IP telephony system provides an online switchboard to better manage and route calls.
  • VoIP systems do not require a costly, on-site switchboard.


Switching to VoIP results in monthly telecoms savings of 28% - The Facts About SIP (infographic) 

Are there any drawbacks to IP telephony?

You will need to replace your existing handsets - but your existing ISDN switchboard can be converted for use with VoIP relatively cheaply. Even VoIP to landline calls are cheaper than via ISDN.

You can even pick up VoIP calls on your mobile, allowing you to take the office phone everywhere with you.


One-third of SMEs are already using VoIP. 

What do you need to get started with an IP telephony system?

For a sole trader – a single VoIP handset, a broadband connection and a suitable VoIP service.

For an SME – a handset for each employee, sufficient broadband connections to guarantee call quality and a suitable VoIP service.


Money saving tip #1: Save cash by using mobile apps instead of VoIP handsets.

Money saving tip #2: Save cash by VoIP-enabling your existing telecom system.

For more help and advice about choosing the right systems in your business, download your free copy of: The non-techie's Ultimate Guide: How to choose the right IT products to suit your business’ needs now and in the future.

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