There are many benefits to having a VoIP solution, for example:
The features available with a broadband phone service are incredible.
There are many other cool features that VoIP offers and it should be remembered that this technology is growing fast so the possibilities are endless.
Although most VoIP service providers have Emergency numbers there are still a few that do not. South Africa currently do not support Emergency numbers.
The biggest disadvantage that skeptics will throw at you is what happens when your power goes out at home or you lose your Broadband Internet connection. You see VoIP relies on having a broadband connection so if that goes down so does your Internet phone service. However, in the days when most of us have a cell phone of some sort, even if it is just "pay as you go", is this really a big issue?
Another option that many people go for is to have a cheap regular local phone service to use just on those rare occasions when you lose your power or broadband connection.
To make a VoIP call the only additional piece of equipment that a typical setup will need is an Analog Telephone Adaptor (or ATA), which is usually supplied by the VoIP service provider when you sign up for service.
This allows you to make phone calls as normal, using your own standard phone. The ATA does the clever conversion of your analog voice to a digital signal that the Internet can understand. It then sends that signal on to your Broadband Modem, which passes it over the Internet.
A typical residential VoIP solution looks like this:
If you have more than one phone in your home the recommended connection is to use cordless telephones. The base station of the cordless telephone plugs directly into the VoIP ATA. The additional handsets can then be placed anywhere in your home, distributing the VoIP phone service to your required locations.
For homes with more than one computer simply connect a router to the ATA instead of the PC in the diagram above. Your computers then connect to the router. Note that many other connectivity options exist for this type of setup.
A high speed internet connection is required, such as iBurst or ADSL. To use your existing phone you will need a phone adapter to allow connection to your internet connection. This adapter provides the conversion from your analog voice to the digital signal required for internet transmission. Alternatively, you can purchase a special VoIP phone (often called IP Phone), which can be plugged straight into your internet connection with no phone adapter required. You will also have to sign up for a month to month prepaid package through Intense Broadband.
This is an important question to ask. There are a number of VoIP Service Providers out there and they are increasing every week. Most Service Providers have a selection of plans to choose from and provide various different features, at various different costs. Intense Broadband has partnered with an awesome partner and have been testing the solution for several months before launching it into the South African Market.
Most plans provided by Intense Broadband now allow the user to call any number anywhere in the world, including local numbers, long distance numbers, international numbers, and cell numbers.
Probably the biggest advantage of a VoIP phone service is the cost savings over a traditional phone service. These savings can be substantial, depending on the Service Provider and Plan you choose, and your normal phone usage. Other advantages include feature rich Plans (caller ID, call forwarding, voicemail, call waiting etc), portability (you can take your phone adapter with you and in theory use on any high speed internet connection), and if you have a broadband internet connection you don’t have to maintain and pay the additional cost of a phone line just to make phone calls.
One of the main disadvantages of a VoIP phone service is that it may not work during power outages or outages in your high speed internet connection. Other disadvantages include, emergency dialing may not be provided by some Service Providers, you need a high speed internet connection (DSL, cable etc.), and you may not get a directory listing. It should be noted however that VoIP technology is progressing rapidly, and many of the disadvantages of a VoIP phone service compared with a traditional phone service are being addressed through enhancements.
Typically yes, but our service will only be able to be used from middle of February 2008.
No, not if you are using a phone adapter or a special VoIP phone. However, your high speed internet connection must be active for your VoIP service to work.
Most VoIP Service Providers now offer the option to keep your existing phone number if you wish (referred to as number portability). This may vary between VoIP Provider, so check this before signing up for service. This type of information can be found under the Plan Search page for your convenience
Yes. Some VoIP Service Providers provide a Number for Life feature. This means that as long as you stay with your Service Provider you can keep your number, if required, even when you move house locally or to another city/state
Some VoIP Service Providers now offer the customer the option to change their phone number themselves via their Provider web site or by phoning customer service.
Set-up is very simple. We use either iBurst or ADSL to provide you with a phone adapter (if using your existing phone). You simply plug this adapter into your internet connection and your phone into the adapter.
There are four possibilities for adding multiple phones onto your VoIP phone service.