Can I keep my existing phone numbers?

Absolutely! Your existing phone numbers will be ported over to PHONEWARE’s cloud-based telephone service. Also, each phone will receive its own dedicated line. If you have existing dedicated telephone numbers for your users, they will be ported over to the PHONEWARE service as well.  If you do not have existing dedicated telephone numbers, new ones will be assigned to each telephone. Also, all outgoing calls from each PHONEWARE VoIP phone will be configured to always send the same phone number — whether it is the private number of each telephone, or the main business telephone number.  No longer will outbound caller ID send the phone number of a random line in your line rotation group as it does with plain old telephone service (POTS).

How much internet bandwidth is required?

Not a lot. Each phone call in progress uses between 30k and 90k, depending upon the codec that is used. The G729 standard codec compresses the voice audio and uses about 30kbps per conversation. The G711 codec does not compress voice audio and uses about 90kbps per conversation.  Therefore, if you have basic internet service with 1.5Mbps, you could effectively handle as many as 45-50 phone calls using the G729 codec. However, this does not account for bandwidth needed for other uses, such as email and general internet browsing.  We will configure which codec your phones use, depending upon bandwidth availability. Here is a listing of the typical internet speeds that are available, and te number of phones that each should be able to support, considering typical office internet use:

  • Centurylink DSL – 5Mbps download, 896k upload – approximately 14 simultaneous active phone conversations using G729 codec.
  • Cox Communications Cable Internet – 10Mbps download, 2Mbps upload – approximately 32 simultaneous active phone conversations using G729 codec.
  • T1 delivered Internet – 1.5Mbps upload, 1.5Mbps download – approximately 23 simultaneous active phone conversations using G729 codec.
  • T1 delivered Internet – 3Mbps upload, 3Mbps download – approximately 46 simultaneous active phone conversations using G729 codec.

How good is the audio quality?

PHONEWARE VoIP phones sounds better than traditional phones. The existing traditional telephone network was designed decades ago and the quality that can be delivered is limited by the existing outdated telephone network infrastructure. Since VoIP is transmitted over a data network, such as the internet, new standards are constantly being developed. One commonly used standard uses a sampling rate and frequency range that is twice that of a traditional phone call.

What happens if my internet service fails, or my power goes out?

Calls are automatically redirected to an alternate telephone number if your internet service or power fails, or if you simply unplug your VoIP phone. This is a feature called “unavailable call forwarding” and it is configured from the user portal, therefore users can set it up themselves.  Calls can be redirected to their cell phone, or any other telephone number.

Do I still need a fax line, and can my fax service be incorporated into the cloud-based telephone service?

You will probably want to keep one line for a fax machine, and it can also be used for a modem, postage machine, credit card machine, and security alarm, if any of those need a phone line. Fax can be transmitted over VoIP, but the success rate is only about 80%. Therefore, we recommend keeping a physical fax line. We also offer a useful fax-to-email service, and also outbound email-to-fax, so that users can send and receive faxes right from their computer workstations.