A very exciting development currently playing out in the voice over IP (VoIP) arena is the sudden growth in fibre business premises, says Rob Lith, director of Connection Telecom.
Having fibre-ready offices makes a company’s transition to VoIP infinitely easier, as the speed and other performance improvements remove much of the hassle factor of engineering VoIP over other access technologies.
It’s all happening
The growth in fibre hotspots has been noticeable, both in the number of upmarket office parks being provisioned with fibre-supported services and the keenness of the competition.
For example, no fewer than four telco providers have fibre leading into the business park in which Connection Telecom has its residence.
Supporting this, metro fibre rings are commonplace in the major urban centres. There is even a rise in a new kind of niche network provider that specialises solely in pulling fibre from the kerb into business premises.
In a scenario like that, VoIP becomes an absolute no-brainer. The sheer capacity and speed of it makes segmenting voice and data channels a much simpler process, devoid of much (though not all) of the optimisation work that goes with other access technologies.
For R2 500, Neotel offers a 100Mbps fibre port called the NeoOne (for R1 000 extra, customers can procure a 1Gb fibre port). Using classic MPLS-based class-of-service segmentation, the line can simply be apportioned to accommodate different services, such as best-effort broadband; real-time, highest-priority voice traffic; business traffic; general email traffic; and everything else.
Each individual service has a cost, for example NeoBroadband Internet service 2Mbps is R3 050 per month or 5Mbps for R5 100.
Narrow band Diginet is trickier to manage the contention of voice and data. A 512Kbps circuit, for instance could be set-up to offer 128Kbps for 8-voice channels and the balance for data, but with such a narrow ‘pipe’ it becomes exceedingly difficult to manage the contention between voice and data.
In addition to this, Diginet has a six-week waiting period, which does not have to be factored into the equation with fibre where a building is connected. And fibre’s superior response times are making VoIP a far more attractive bet. Analogue access lines have an inherent delay in the modulation-demodulation process. Digital circuits in turn have latency delays in the low hundreds of milliseconds, while fibre is orders of magnitude faster, with latency as low as two milliseconds.
The fibre future
With fibre on your doorstep, VoIP can set you free from the costly frustration of legacy landline and mobile voice architectures.
The next move is as simple as buying a fibre port and plugging it through to the office, setting MPLS-based classes of service for different kinds of traffic, and buying what fibre-based services users require.