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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Hosted/Virtual/Cloud Services

What is a hosted PBX?

A hosted PBX is a private telephone system that is accessible over a network in the cloud instead of through hardware in your office. Because a hosted PBX is cloud-based, your business will access it through the internet, saving you the costs of hardware, software, and installation.

What is the difference between hosted PBX and on-premise?

An on-premise PBX will require hardware, infrastructure, and an IT administrator on site to run it, so if your business has these in place, then an on-premise PBX may be a solid choice. However, Aircom will manage hosted PBX for you through the cloud, so if you are looking to save costs or scale back resources, then this option will prove much more effective.

What do I look for in a hosted PBX provider?

Look for the cost savings, the level of customer service, the features, and the maintenance options that each provider offers. Check that you understand their cancellation policies, their options for scaling your service as your business grows, and whether they can integrate the hosted PBX with other applications, such as CRM software.

Should my business have a hosted PBX?

If your business is looking for a faster, better phone system with a quick and easy setup, then a hosted PBX will work well. Additional benefits include low setup and maintenance costs, greater scalability, and improved usability across all sites, especially when hosted by Aircom.

General Information about IP PBX and VoIP technology

What is a PBX phone system?

A private branch exchange (PBX) phone system allows users across your company to communicate internally and externally using VoIP, ISDN, and/or analog phones. A PBX system also includes features such as voicemail, call recording, call transfers, and interactive voice menus (IVR).

What is Voice over IP (VoIP)?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a group of technologies that delivers voice and multimedia communications over the internet instead of telephone networks. VoIP can deliver many services more quickly and efficiently than traditional networks.

What are IP PBX?

An IP PBX system consists of one more SIP or VoIP phones and a server or gateway, and it replaces a traditional phone system by making calls over a data network instead. Users receive mobile extension numbers, better quality for audio and video, and the ability to make cheap, long-distance phone calls with Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP).

What are VoIP gateways? Why are they important?

A VoIP gateway is a device that connects telephone traffic to Internet protocols (IP) so that communications can be made over data networks. A VoIP gateway is used to convert incoming telephone calls into VoIP or SIP and connect traditional telephone networks to IP networks, making these more efficient communication options possible.

What is an IP telephone and IP telephony?

An IP telephone is a device (a hardware phone) or software client (app) that is designed to work with an IP PBX and transmit voice calls over the Internet using VoIP. IP telephony includes any calls made using IP telephones and systems.

What is a STUN server?

A STUN server allows IP phones behind a firewall to send phone calls to an external VoIP provider being hosted on a different network. This allows users across different companies to communicate with each other easily.

What is ALG?

Application Layer Gateway (ALG) is a software component that mediates between the internet and an application server, controlling whether communications and traffic can come through. It is commonly used to synchonise streams or sessions between different hosts.

Where can I find more information about VoIP?

Please contact our expert AIRCOM staff for more information about VoIP technologies.

More Information about SIP

What is SIP?

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a text-based signaling protocol used to manage sessions between 2 or more participants. SIP creates, modifies, and closes communication sessions, and contains information describing each user’s identity and contact information.

What are SIP phones?

An SIP phone is hardware or software that uses the open standard SIP protocol to set up and manage phone calls, providing telephone functionality over the internet. SIP phones can be specific hardware such as desktop equipment or a “softphone” program installed on desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones using any operating system (OS).

What is SIP trunking and SIP forking?

SIP trunking is a method that business phone systems operate using an internet connection instead of a traditional phone line, letting the end point PBX send and receive calls online. SIP forking is the process of splitting a single SIP call to reach multiple SIP endpoints at the same time. Together, SIP trunking and SIP forking save costs per call, enable better customer service, and increase mobility because they aren’t bound to a single location.

What is an SIP server?

An SIP server, a device that is the main piece of an IP PBX, manages all SIP calls in the network and handles sessions between endpoints. The SIP server simply manages communications, and does not actually transmit or receive data itself.

How does an SIP call session between two phones work?

An SIP call between two phones is established in this way:
  • The calling SIP phone sends out an INVITE
  • The called phone sends an information response (100 – Trying – back)
  • The called phone begins ringing a response (180 – Ringing – is sent back)
  • The called phone sends a response (200 – OK) when the caller picks up
  • The calling phone responds with (ACK – acknowledgement), and the actual voice conversation is transmitted as data via real-time transport protocol (RTP)
  • When the person calling hangs up, the called phone sends a closing request (BYE) and the calling phone responds with a (200 – OK)

What types of SIP and VoIP phones are there?

Both SIP and VoIP phones can be hardware based or software based. Hardware-based SIP phones appear just like normal phones but are connected directly to the data network instead of traditional phone lines, while software-based SIP phones are applications that use a desktop computer’s microphone and speakers or an attached headset to make or receive calls.

What is an SIP URI?

An SIP-URI is like a phone number, specifying where the SIP protocol can reach a specific user. An SIP-URI resembles an email address, but one that includes the user’s name and the company’s domain or IP.

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