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The VoIP Report

Which Should You Choose: Hybrid or Pure IP VoIP?
August 27th, 2017

Which Should You Choose: Hybrid or Pure IP VoIP?

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VoIP phones provide more than just telephony services for businesses. Whether or not it is "Pure" IP VoIP or hybrid VoIP, each can increase productivity and provide real-time, simultaneous voice and d...

VoIP phones provide more than just telephony services for businesses. Whether or not it is “Pure” IP VoIP or hybrid VoIP, each can increase productivity and provide real-time, simultaneous voice and data transmissions. Both types use the Internet for the services they provide.

It’s important to understand the differences between the two forms of VoIP so that you can choose the one that best meets your business needs.

Some companies may be forced to use one or the other depending on their current IT and telephone services. Others may find they may want to transition to one system using an amalgamation of both.

PBX services

Some will refer to hybrid PBX (Private Branch Exchange) when talking about hybrid VoIP. A PBX connects an internal network of phones to telephone trunk lines. Enterprises used a PBX system before the advent of VoIP. Many companies, once VoIP became popular, wanted a way to combine their PBX system with the new VoIP telephony.

How does a PBX work?

A PBX connects all phones within a company network with the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) using a PRI (Primary Rate Interface) to connect physically, with a dedicated line, to the PSTN. PRIs can only enable voice transmissions. Each PRI permits 24 simultaneous calls.

Why use a PBX and PRI?

The main advantage of a PBX connected to a PRI is the quality of service. A PBX with PRI has one purpose only: to provide quality voice service for your phones. In the old days (four or five years ago!), this gave it an edge over VoIP service. Bandwidth would often cause problems for VoIP users. Today, however, this advantage has largely disappeared due to widespread high-speed IP services and improvements in VoIP.

What makes VoIP different?

VoIP uses SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) to connect to the local PSTN network. SIP trunking connects virtually to the PSTN. The VoIP usually shares a connection to the network with your data systems.

What is hybrid VoIP?

Hybrid VoIP combines a company’s existing PBX equipment to a VoIP telephony system. This was often the way in the past the company’s first implemented VoIP services. PBX systems can be expensive to purchase and costly to maintain. Many found it more cost effective in the short term to combine the two systems.

Businesses could then kept an on-premises device rather than lease a VoIP system from a vendor. VoIP companies provided devices to allow you to utilize your existing PBX services that relied on PRI instead of virtual connections.

Today, despite enterprise environments relying more and more on virtual connections, companies new to VoIP often like the hybrid model.

What sort of equipment do you need to create a hybrid VoIP?

The technology for hybrid VoIP involves a simple box or interface used to create the hybrid connections. One side of the device has several Ethernet connections for the VoIP along with standard telephone jacks using a PRI connection. The other side of the box has a WAN (Wide Area Network) connecting to the Internet, a LAN (Local Area Network) connecting the PBX phones.

Does a hybrid system have any special advantages?

Hybrid systems give you all the benefits of VoIP while at the same time allowing you also to use landline service. Hybrids eliminate any long distance charges between internal phone systems of a company. A company office in one area code or country can talk to another without incurring any additional cost.

These systems also automatically switch from one to the other in the event of an outage. This gives you redundancy in voice communications.

What are the disadvantages of a hybrid system?

Using a hybrid system incurs more costs. Companies that need large PBX systems will incur thousands of dollars in PBX costs.

What are the advantages of hybrid VoIP service?

Hybrid VoIP makes it easier for some companies to make the psychological transition to VoIP use. Some businesses too may be locked into long-term hosted PBX service contracts. Hybrid VoIP allows them to take advantage of VoIP, maintaining their competitive edge, without subjecting themselves to harsh early PBX contract termination fees.

What is a Pure IP VoIP system?

Pure IP VoIP removes the legacy PBX from the equation. Pure IP VoIP connects directly to your IT data system, replacing the telephony of the PBX system as well as adding all the addition features of VoIP service. You do not need phone lines, cabling or even phone instruments.

Using pure IP VoIP, if designed correctly, will have the infrastructure already in place to incorporate future technology.

Conclusion

Eventually, hybrid VoIP will no longer be required. VoIP service has become the industry standard. Many new companies have no legacy PBX system as pure IP VoIP has been the only service they every used. Older PBX systems, as they become outdated, will be replaced by pure IP VoIP.e PBX system as well as adding all the addition features of VoIP service. You do not need phone lines, cabling or even phone instruments.

Using pure IP VoIP, if designed correctly, will have the infrastructure already in place to incorporate future technology.


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