VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) ticks all the required boxes and yet this telecommunications technology that’s more affordable than cellular and more reliable than copper continues to suffer something of a reputation problem.
“VoIP is cheaper than it has ever been because of plummeting interconnection rates between telecoms network operators. The voice quality is excellent because the Internet is speeding up in South Africa. And yet, VoIP is still often perceived as a ‘beta phase’ technology more than ten years after the legislature legalised VoIP operators,” says Rad Jankovic, MD of VoIP provider OTEL Telecoms.
Even though a healthy few hundred VoIP end users are signed up each day in South Africa, according to OTEL’s estimates, there are three primary misconceptions about the technology that are constraining growth.
“While the industry is still in the education stage, the good news is that this means exponential growth can be expected going forward as business and consumers broaden their knowledge of a fantastic technology that puts the user at the centre of the communications experience,” Jankovic explains.
OTEL lists the three most common misperceptions about VoIP:
* The quality is poor – This unfortunate perception is largely a hangover from the 1990s when most of our experience of VoIP services came from trying to maintain a Skype connection over dial-up or 3G. Things have changed a lot since Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri presided over the local telecoms landscape. 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. In addition, quality of service can be further enhanced by choosing the right provider who has an end-to-end view of the client’s VoIP network.
* You only save money if you’re calling other VoIP networks – Of all the VoIP myths, this is just totally wrong. While many providers offer free calling within their networks – and that’s a significant plus – it is much cheaper making calls using VoIP than traditional copper wire dinosaur technology. 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.
* One standard VoIP prefix means one size fits all – 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.
OTEL is a licensed business-to-business provider of VoIP & broadband Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions.