VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) offers the best communications solution in a challenging business environment because it is more affordable than cellular and more reliable than copper.
VoIP is alo feature-rich which enables SMEs to run enterprise-grade platforms at a fraction of the cost of established players and this has a positive impact on productivity, customer service and the ultimate operational capability that determines whether they sink or swim.
That’s the word from Rad Jankovic, CEO of leading VoIP provider, Otel Communications, who says VoIP today is a proven, mainstream voice and data technology counted on by millions of South African businesses and consumers each day.
“VoIP is more affordable than it has ever been because of plummeting interconnection rates. Furthermore, the voice quality is excellent because the Internet is speeding up in South Africa. VoIP was legalised by the legislature well over a decade ago and is now an established telecoms technology used by the country’s most respected brands,” he says.
Mr Jankovic lists seven outstanding reasons to go VoIP:
1. VoIP offers crystal clear, high quality voice communication
Fibre and a host of other high-speed broadband access technologies are being rolled out all over the country, making the quality of VoIP service impeccable. It’s great, and it’s getting even better!
2. You save money calling ALL other networks, whether VoIP or otherwise
It is much cheaper making calls using VoIP than traditional copper wire dinosaur technology and that’s the bottom line. It doesn’t matter if you’re calling international, national or mobile numbers. VoIP is cheaper and Otel, in particular, is 45% cheaper. That’s why millions of people around the globe use VoIP and more are making switching each year. In addition, many VoIP providers offer free calling within their networks.
3. VoIP now comes in different flavours
The 087 prefix used to be synonymous with VoIP and while it still is the prefix most commonly assigned to VoIP clients, VoIP providers now offer geographic number ranges for customers who prefer to be associated with a specific city or region. There are other VoIP number ranges as well these days, so it is no longer a case of 087 needs to fit everyone.
4. VoIP is a robust telecoms technology well-suited to business
VoIP hasn’t been testing-phase ‘beta’ technology for well over a decade now. Enormous contact centres staffed by several hundred customer care agents at a time are running off IP-based technology. Who hasn’t received a call from an 087 contact centre number lately? VoIP is built for business, and big business at that!
5. Data is becoming more affordable in SA, making even further VoIP cost savings likely
Interconnection rates in SA plummeted several years ago having a positive knock-on effect on the price of fixed-line data. When it comes to the mobile data that powers many Internet connections in the country, the Minister of Telecommunications & Postal Services has now prioritised urgent intervention to bring down the price of mobile data.
6. SA’s VoIP-enabling broadband ‘fibrehoods’ are growing at a good pace
Last year, it was estimated that well over 100 000 homes had access to high-speed broadband delivered by fibre optic underground cable. Otel, for its part, has access to a quarter million square kilometres of fibre optic cable within South Africa. With statistics like these, it has become increasingly likely that one’s home and business addresses fall within the country’s fast-growing tally of fibrehoods.
7. VoIP has other benefits besides cheap voice calls
While a much lower cost to communicate is the single biggest driver for both large enterprises and SMEs switching to VoIP technologies; the ability to plug in PBX systems complete with soft phones that completely replace desk-mounted telephone hardware is a major additional benefit of VoIP-based voice and data communication. Soft phone interfaces can be installed onto existing devices and these include mobile phones, meaning your office can move with you. In addition, the latest version with a host of value-added services is always just a download away.
Otel’s focus is on organisations with just a few users, right up to 10 000 and more users. It can guarantee faster and more cost-effective web access, and lower calls costs. The independent telco’s products enhance the customer experience by creating value through various managed services that together lower the total cost of ICT for both SME and enterprise customers.
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