7 Best Value VoIP Headsets of 2017

Not all VoIP headsets are created equal, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the best value VoIP headsets of 2017 based on quality, flexibility, UC compatibility and – of course – price.

Most Australian businesses are making the move to Unified Communications (UC), and if you’re one of them, you’ll need a VoIP headset that will come along for the ride. Whether you’re an entry level user, in a call centre, or are on the lookout for the ultimate headset with all the bells and whistles, you’ll find this list a great starting point.

But first of all, we just want to make sure we’re all on the same page here, so let’s look at what exactly a VoIP headset is, and get you thinking about what kind of VoIP headset you actually need.

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and is sometimes also referred to as Voice over IP and IP telephony. It is a process by which media communications can take place using Internet Protocol (IP) Networks. In layman’s terms, it’s a way for us to communicate using the internet.

In the past, we’ve used the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to make phone calls, but with VoIP, we’re using our internet connections.

VoIP uses codecs (coding and decoding of data) by first code your voice into digital data that can traverse the internet, and then re-coding it back into analogue data at the other end. While VoIP can only transmit voice data, SIP (Session INitiation Protocol) can transmit all forms of data, including video and other multimedia. SIP is what we call the “VoIP Superhighway”, and it’s perfect for business phone systems.

What is a VoIP Headset?

First of all, the term ‘VoIP Headset’ is a bit of a misnomer. Whether or not your headset will work with VoIP actually depends on what you’re plugging it into, not the headset itself. For example, if you’re using a desk phone to make VoIP phone calls, you will have to have a headset that connects to your desk phone. If you’re using that same desk phone to make PSTN calls, the same headset should work.

What you may have been looking for on your hunt for a VoIP headset is a UC headset. That’s one that will work with your UC solution or Skype for Business (formerly known as Lync). In this case, your VoIP headset needs to be a UC headset, so make sure you keep your eye out for that term before you make a purchase.

In any case, whether you call it a VoIP headset or a UC headset, you’re looking for the same thing, and you’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for the best headset to suit your business needs.

What kind of VoIP headset do I need?

As we mentioned, the first thing to look out for is a headset that works on your UC platform. When it comes to the other factors for you to consider, that is really a matter of who will use the headset, how they will use the headset, the features the user will need, and your budget.

Our 7 best VoIP headsets of 2017 aren’t just taking into account price and snazziness. We know that some businesses might need two top-of-the-line headsets for their reception staff, but 8 good quality, entry level headsets for their call centre staff. That’s why we will cover all bases in this list.

No matter who and what you need your VoIP headset for, here’s some of the more important factors you need to consider before you explore our list, courtesy of the headset experts at Simply Headsets:

  1. Do I need the headset to be compatible with my computer only, my desk phone only, my mobile, or all three?
  2. What wearing style will be most comfortable for the user? Some headsets come with both over-the-ear and over-the-head wearing styles, however, many brands come with only one, and offer the second as an additional extra.
  3. What features do I need in a headset?
  4. Do I need a wireless headset? If the user needs to be able to move around the office while on a call, then this is important.
  5. Would I like to be able to answer a call when I’m away from my desk? Some headsets require that you lift the desk phone handset or click on your computer screen in order to answer. Others will offer a remote answering feature.
  6. How important is sound quality? Obviously, the sound technology in a headset can influence its price, however, even your entry level headsets have decent sound these days.
  7. What is my budget?

Our 7 Best VoIP Headsets of 2017

1. Jabra UC VOICE 150 MS USB Corded Headset

RRP $49.00

Image of the Jabra UC VOICE 150 MS USB Corded Headset

It’s not fancy, it’s not expensive, and it’s not loaded with additional extras, but it still makes our list because it’s optimised for Microsoft Skype, it meets Jabra’s high sound standards, and it has a great all-round quality.

This one’s for the entry level user, and is a plug and play headset with a call control unit that you’ll be able to use straight out of the box. For this price you’ll find it’s comfortable, has a clear sound, and offers reasonable noise reduction technology – that makes it one of our best value VoIP headsets of 2017.

2. Jabra Evolve 80 UC MS Stereo Headset (USB & Mobile Phone)

RRP $580.00

Image of Jabra Evolve 80 UC MS Stereo Headset

If we were measuring headsets based purely on style and function, this one would come out on top. As it is, we’re looking at the best value VoIP headsets, and this one is a little too high up on the price scale for us to justify putting it any higher on this list.

Having said that, you won’t get a better noise cancelling headset than this one, which means the Evolve 80 is perfect for noisy work environments and your commute home. The sassy style also makes it ideal for personal use. Trust us when we say, if you’re looking for the crème de la crème of VoIP headsets, you’ve found it.

3. Plantronics Blackwire C520-M USB Corded Headset

RRP $143.00

Image of Plantronics Blackwire C520-M USB Corded Headset

This is a brilliantly intuitive headset that will juggle your PC calls and multimedia using Plantronics’ Smart Sensor technology, with audio alerts that will manage your connection status, mute, and volume. It’s corded – which is a no-go zone for some people – but the fact that you can answer a call simply by putting it on makes that fact a lot easier to handle.

For a mid price tag, we think the audio is amazing, and provides great value. The Dynamic EQ feature also optimises the clearness of your voice, and adjusts automatically when you’re listening to music or multimedia.

The Blackwire C520-M is designed specifically for use with Microsoft Skype or Communicator software, so make sure you’ve got it before purchasing!

4. Sennheiser SC 60 USB ML Corded Headset

RRP $89.00

Image of Sennheiser SC 60 USB ML Corded Headset

We promised to deliver the best value VoIP headsets of 2017, and that means including affordable headsets. The Sennheiser SC 60 USB ML fits that bill.

Optimised for Unified Communications, this headset will acquire top priority over other devices that are connected to your computer’s speakers and microphone. One of our favourite things about this headset is that Sennheiser means it when they say, “plug and play”; it’s easy to set up and simple to use.

The voice clarity is fantastic, with Sennheiser’s renowned noise cancelling technology and wideband sound, available in both mono and duo wearing styles. Both styles are comfortable to wear, and the flexible boom arm is handy for keeping the microphone in the best position.

The only downside is the fact that it is corded, but if you don’t have the need to move around the office while you’re on a call, it shouldn’t be a problem for you.

5. Sennheiser DW Pro 1 Wireless Headset

RRP $399.00

Image of Sennheiser DW Pro 1 Wireless Headset

The DW Pro is one of the highest quality headsets on the market, and we know that you won’t be disappointed when you try it out. The only reason it isn’t at #1 is because of it’s price, but make no mistake, there’s no a single sacrifice when it comes to quality. Compatible with UC platforms, you’d have a hard time finding a more intelligent, feature-rich, or faster charging headset on the market.

As we always expect from Sennheiser, the sound quality and noise cancellation are impeccable, which makes this an ideal headset for the noisy office; the HD clarity is second to none.  The DW Pro 1 will also automatically conference with other Sennheisers, which is ideal when you’ve got multiple users using the same phone. And if keeping your ears safe from harmful noises is important to you, the DW Pro 1 features ActiveGuard technology, intercepting and eliminating damaging sound before it reaches your ears. It charges in only 20 minutes – which is impressive – a 12 hour talk time, and a range of up to 180 metres – which is beyond impressive.

6. Plantronics Voyager 5200 UC Wireless Bluetooth Headset

RRP $305.00 

Image of Plantronics Voyager 5200 UC Bluetooth Headset

The Voyager 5200 was put on the market as an upgrade to the very popular Plantronic Legend, and it’s already a bestseller. Plantronics has included their most advanced noise cancelling technology and WindSmart technology in the Voyager 5200, and that’s because it’s mobile compatible and designed to go wherever you go.

It’s in second place on our list because it’s got voice recognition answering (just say ‘answer’ or ‘ignore’ when you get a call), it’s perfect for use with your mobile, it’s charging case provides up to 14 additional hours of talk time, and it sounds like a dream for both you and your caller. Plantronics have also designed the button placement to make it easier for you to adjust controls. On top of that, it’s on-the-ear, ergonomic design is comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

While it’s definitely on the pricier end of the headset scale, we think every penny will be worth it if you’re looking for a VoIP headset that will make your life easier.

7. Jabra Stealth UC MS Wireless Bluetooth Headset

RRP $166

Image of Jabra Stealth UC MS Bluetooth Headset

When it comes to affordability, this wireless headset is (in our opinion) the best value VoIP headset available. It’s optimised for use with Microsoft Skype (MS) and, for such a good value VoIP headset, it’s sound quality won’t disappoint. Jabra have included their Advance Noise Blackout technology to deliver a crisp and noise-free call, while  the dual microphones and HD Voice guarantees a clear listening experience for both you and your caller.

We also like the fact that the Stealth is slimline and lightweight, which means you can wear it discreetly and still be comfortable when it’s not in use. Another great feature is that you can activate Google Now and Siri by pressing a convenient button on the headset, which means you can leave your phone in your pocket.

Overall, it’s got everything you need in a VoIP headset – it’s comfortable, stylish, optimised for Microsoft Skype, and it boasts an excellent call quality. The fact that it’s wireless and doesn’t have too hefty a price-tag means it’s our pick for the best value VoIP headset for 2017.

Summary

We started this post by pointing out that not all headsets are the same, and we’ve tried our hardest to compile a list of the best value VoIP headsets which everyone will find useful. Whether you’re a seasoned wearer and know exactly what a good quality headset can deliver, or just starting out and need a decent starter headset, we’re hoping you’ve found something in this list to get you thinking about exactly what you need in a VoIP headset.

If you’re still unsure, head over to Simply Headsets to see their extensive range of VoIP and UC Headsets – you’ll be spoiled for choice. Plus, you can give their Melbourne based team a call to get some personalised advice about which headset will best suit your needs.

How Does VoIP Work? – The Ultimate Guide To VoIP & More

As a telecoms company, we get asked “how does VoIP work?” a lot. VoIP is fast becoming the most popular form of telecommunication on the planet, and while you may know a little about it – or even none at all – understanding how VoIP works and what it means for your business is something you can no longer avoid.

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a method used to turn our analogue voice signals into digital data, so we can make phone and video calls, among other things, using our internet connections. In doing this, we’re able to take advantage of much lower priced (and sometimes free) phone rates and line rental.

Simpsons gid with Marge asking How Does VoIP work?

The most important reason to get your head around VoIP, though is the fact that the NBN rollout is going to mean your business will be looking for a new way to run and manage your phone system.

What is VoIP?

VoIP Definition

‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ is also known as Voice over IP, VoIP and IP telephony. It is a methodology that includes a group of similar technologies – all used to deliver voice and media – such as fax, SMS, and voice and video calls, over Internet Protocol (IP) networks.

Where these communications have traditionally taken place using the public switched telephone network (PSTN), VoIP specifically refers to communications services that take place over the public Internet.

How does VoIP Work?

VoIP: Codecs

When you use VoIP to make phone calls over the internet, your voice has to be encoded into digital data, and that digital data has to be re-coded into voice signals at the other end of the call. This process of encoding-decoding is achieved by codecs, which is short for – you guessed it – encoder-decoder. Codecs ensure that the data is compressed, which means that it’s transmitted faster and, as a result,  the quality of the call is better.

Codecs are required because, unlike traditional PSTN phone conversations that use analogue data, VoIP uses digital signals. Codecs are used to encode the analogue voice data into digital signals that can traverse the internet. When the digital signal reaches the destination, it will be decoded back to its analogue form, so the person on the line can hear and understand it.

While the idea of digital voice data and codecs may seem complicated, just think of the process as you would an email. Like an email, the data (your voice) has a destination (the number you dial). Your voice is turned into a code (encoded)so that it can move through the internet. At the other end, the code is converted back into the sound of your voice (decoded), so the person you are calling can understand what you said.

If both you and the person you called are using VoIP, then the entire journey of your phone call will take place over the internet. If they’re using the traditional network, the call travels as far as it can using VoIP, and then switches to the public phone network to get to its destination. The same happens if you have a traditional phone, and someone using a VoIP service calls you, only the journey is reversed.

VoIP Algorithms

How are VoIP calls are made?

Unlike traditional phone services, there is not only one way to make a phone call using VoIP. Where you used to connect your phone to a wall outlet, the three most common ways to connect using a VoIP service are:

An Analogue Telephone Device (ATA)

An ATA is an adapter that allows you to use your analogue telephone with a VoIP service. It connects between your phone and your internet service, and will encode the outgoing analogue data from your phone into digital data that can journey across the internet. Likewise, it will take incoming digital data and decode it into an analogue sound that you can hear and understand.

When it comes to switching from traditional services to VoIP, the ATA is a little lifesaver, and can potentially save your business thousands of dollars in new hardware. You can learn more about ATA’s in our Small Business Guide To The NBN.

IP Phones

IP (Internet Protocol) phones look just like a normal phone, however, they are built especially for VoIP. Instead of connecting to your wall socket using an RJ-11 phone cable,

RJ11 Plug & Cable used in VoIP

IP Phones will connect to your router using an RJ-45 ethernet connector.

RJ45 Plug & Cable Using in VoIP

You don’t need an ATA is you have IP handsets, because digital is their native language.

A great entry level IP-enabled handset is the Avaya 1408 Phone Handset, in fact, “For 90% of customers they would be hard pressed to require anything more.”

image of Avaya 1408 Phone Handset

Avaya 1408 Phone Handset

And for business looking for a more advanced IP Phone setup the Avaya 9670G Phone Handset is part of Avaya’s flagship range.

Image of avaya 9670

Softphones

A softphone is software that loads a VoIP service onto your computer, often with an interface that looks just like a traditional phone. An example of a consumer softphone is Skype,

While business grade softphone services are not always free, the software is often very low cost, and you do make a lot of savings on your calls. You’ll need the VoIP software, a microphone and speakers (or a UC headset), a sound card, and a good internet connection (like any form of VoIP).

How VoIP Works for Your Business

In Australia, the public switch telephone network (old copper wiring)  is being phased out and replaced by the NBN – which means VoIP is soon going to be the main telecommunications protocol nation-wide.

While it is an excellent reason to switch your services to VoIP, more and more Australian businesses are doing so because of the low price and greater flexibility it offers.

Advantages of VoIP

Now that you’ve got an understanding of what VoIP is, let’s take a look at the five biggest reasons Australian businesses are turning to VoIP services to replace their old services:

1. It’s loaded with features

Most VoIP providers include features with their VoIP service for which traditional ISP’s would usually charge an additional fee. So, where you might have been paying your old provider monthly for Caller ID, Call Forward, Call Waiting, and Call Transfer, these features will usually be included in your VoIP service at no extra cost. The range of features are quite extensive, and it pays to shop around with different providers. Some charge more than other for extra features, while some have a whole host of them for free.

2. VoIP will be best friends with your phone system

VoIP is ideal for business phone systems for a number of reasons, and it will work with a traditional, hybrid, IP or Hosted system. In some cases, new licenses and ATA’s will be required, so look around for an honest provider that will help you switch your phone system to VoIP with the minimum expense.

3. VoIP will save you a lot of money

Because VoIP uses the internet as a pathway for your communication, rather than the cables previously used on the PSTN network, line rental is the first place you are going to see savings. Some providers offer VoIP lines for as little as $5. The same goes for your phone calls. Even international phone calls are up o a third less expensive than with PSTN lines and, with some providers, local and national calls will be free. Mobile rates are lower, and we’ve personally seen some of our client’s make a 70% saving in their monthly phone bill after switching to VoIP.

4. VoIP is a lot more flexible

One of the drawbacks of traditional PSTN communication was that, if you wanted to add another user in your office, you’d have to pay for another line, and have someone come to your office to install an outlet. VoIP is a lot easier to scale up or down, and most of the changes you’d be likely to make can be made remotely by your provider. The same goes for managing your features and, in a lot of cases, you can actually make the changes you want yourself using a web interface (if you’re using a softphone).

5. VoIP is the best NBN friendly option you have

Pretty soon, all PSTN lines will be either removed or made redundant, so whether you like it or not, VoIP will be the only answer.

Plus there are also many more reason for small & medium size businesses to switch to using VoIP that you can learn more about here.

Disadvantages of VoIP

While VoIP has a lot of benefits it does, like everything, have a few drawbacks, and they all relate to it being reliable under certain circumstances.

1. VoIP is dependent on a quality internet connection

As a result, QoS issues can affect the quality of your VoIP phone calls. It’s also important to make sure your bandwidth is capable of carrying your VoIP service, in addition to your general office internet use, otherwise a heavy download could cause a dropout in your phone calls. This is why our carrier partner SpringCom recommends having a dedicated internet connection just for your voice data.

2. VoIP runs the risk of viruses and hackers

It’s rare, but VoIP hacking is definitely a thing. Good news is that there are some easy steps your business can take to protect yourself.

3. VoIP will make emergency calls a bit of a challenge

Because VoIP uses an IP address as a phone number, and a geographic location can’t be drawn from an IP address. With PSTN lines, if you couldn’t tell the emergency operator your address, they could still trace your location. With VoIP, there’s no way to find the precise location of the caller if they can’t tell the operator their address. View the information about VoIP and emergency calling from ACMA.

VoIP, the NBN, and your Phone System

The NBN means that every home and business will have to find a new way to make phone calls – and that means VoIP. Residential customers, for the most part, will be able to simply connect their existing phone into an NBN outlet and start making VoIP calls. There are a lot of VoIP myths out there but this option is not viable for businesses, because it is limited to two phones.

The solution for you will be to start using VoIP – and it’s not as scary as it sounds…

Instead of plugging your phone into an outlet in your wall, you will now plug them into your modem to connect them to the NBN.

As we mentioned earlier, an ATA may be required for older phones and phone systems and, in some cases, you’ll be required to buy a license. The ATA will simply connect between your phone and your modem. It’s also likely that your business will benefit from SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), which is business grade, superior VoIP. Find out more about How SIP Works with a Phone System.

The key to being ready for VoIP – and the NBN in general – is to look for a provider who you can trust. Many businesses are getting sketchy information about VoIP, SIP, and Phone Systems, and end up spending a fortune on new phone systems, handsets, and hardware that they don’t actually need.

Conclusion

This article has addressed the question, ‘How does VoIP work’, and looked at how it will work for your business, including some of its advantages and disadvantages.

As mentioned, switching your business service to VoIP won’t be a choice once the NBN has been rolled out in your area. The good news is that – if you prepare properly and get the right advice before you make the switch – your new VoIP service will improve the way your business communicates.

Unfortunately, if you don’t prepare, things can get tricky. Assuming that the switch is as simple as NBN. Co. advertises it will be (“As easy as 1…2…3…”) can be a big mistake. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration, including your phone system, internet, EFTPOS terminals, and security systems. If you forget to plan ahead for these and many businesses have done – you could be stuck without them for days, weeks, and even months.

The advice we give to our phone system clients, and anyone else who asks us about the NBN, is to get an NBN-ready audit for your business. Have an Infiniti technician visit your office and assess everything from your handsets to your phone and internet outlets. They’ll give you the advice you need to make the switch to the NBN efficiently, saving to time and money in the long run. Get in touch with our team today on 1300 889 792 to arrange an NBN audit for your business today.

NBN & Internet Complaints on the Rise in 2016

If you are having issues with your internet connection or NBN service, you’re not alone! The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) released a publication in November 2016 that outlined the state of affairs for the period between July 2015 and June 2016, and it was not good news for the NBN.   

Overview of 2015-2016 in telco complaints

Australians made a total of 112, 518 complaints during that period, and while those about the internet and the NBN skyrocketed, new complaints about mobile and landline phone services saw a drop. It’s not all good news, however. In total, complaints about landline, mobile, and internet decreased during the year by a total of 9.6%. That sounds great, until you learn that, between July and September 2016, new complaints were 25.7% higher than they were at the same time in 2015.

NBN a major reason for complaints

The fact that complaints rose as the NBN really started to kick off in 2016 doesn’t, unfortunately, appear to be a coincidence.

Ombudsman Judi Jones says, “We saw nearly a 100 per cent increase in the number of NBN related complaints this year, but the rate of growth is lower than the growth of active services”. She went on to state that the most regularly reported issues were delays in connections to the network, faults ( including unusable services), and service dropouts.

The statistics to confirm these reports include the 147.8% jump in complaints about faults on NBN services, while complaints about NBN connections rose by a total of 63.2%.

A breakdown of telco complaints

We’ll take a snapshot look at some of the key statistics here, but if you want to read the whole report, go to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman website and follow the links.

The 112, 518 new complaints made to the TIO in the 2015-2016 financial year can be broken down into four service types: Mobile complaints made up 36.6%, Internet 34.6%, and Landline 28.8%.

The top five reasons for complaints remained the same as the previous year and were, in order, billing and payments, customer service, faults, complaint handling, and contracts.

Who complained the most? It would seem that the TIO received more complaints from Victorians than any other state, with 5.9 for every 1000 people. The other states were as follows:

  • South Australia – 5.34 per 1000 people
  • Australian Capital Territory – 5.22 per 1000 people
  • New South Wales – 5.21 per 1000 people
  • Queensland – 4.80 per 1000 people
  • Tasmania – 4.42 per 1000 people
  • Western Australia – 4.16 per 1000 people
  • Northern Territory – 3.83 per 1000 people

The average across Australia was 5.24 new complaints per 1000 people, and most of those new complaints came from consumers in major cities.

What to do if you have an issue with your provider

The first point of call is to call your provider directly and talk to someone about the issue you are having. If you don’t think your complaint has been resolved, or are unhappy with how it has been dealt with, you can ask to speak to a conflict resolution manager. If you’re still unhappy, that’s when you should get in touch with the TIO.

They provide free and independent dispute services for small businesses and residential consumers, and can be contact via a form on their website, or by calling 1800 062 058.

 

6 Easy Steps To Step Up Skype for Business Call Forwarding

In this article, I am going to take you through the 6 easy steps you need to go through to setup Skype for Business call forwarding to landlines or mobiles.

We often have the experience where a customer has an existing Skype for business number that they’d like to port to our services. We’ll explain below why (in most cases) this simply isn’t possible – but we’ll also give you a way around it by forwarding all of your Skype for business calls to your chosen mobile or landline number.

Is my Skype For Business Number portable?

Skype numbers are, typically, not portable. That’s because the local numbers that are supplied are owned by Skype and not the user, who is technically renting access to the number. Under ACMA (The Australian Communications and Media Authority) and TIO (Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman), Skype clients do not own any numbers that they have been issued by the company. Therefore, under LNP rules, Skype cannot legally put through port requests for any of the numbers that they supply.

What if I had a number ported into Skype originally?

If you had an existing local number ported into Skype, then you should be able to have it ported back out again to another provider.

But I want to keep my Skype for business number for use on a landline or mobile!

Many clients are frustrated by the news that they can’t simply move their existing phone number from Skype to our services, like they would be able to from any other telco provided number. But, like most things these days, there are some actions you can take to get around this problem. The answer is Call forwarding, and there’s only a few steps you need to take to make it happen.

How to set up a permanent forward from your Skype for business number to your landline or mobile

If you want to keep your Skype Number and use it on your landline or mobile phone, the only realistic option is to permanently forward your Skype Number using an unlimited landline phone plan.

First, you will need to make changes to your Skype subscription as follows:

Step 1: Change your Skype account to the ‘Australia unlimited mins landlines plan AU$5.00/month’.

Skype for Business Call Forwarding plans

If you pay annually, you will save an additional 15%

Skype for business call forwarding annual plans

Next, follow these steps to forward all Skype calls to your chosen destination:

Step 2: Sign in to your skype account

Step 3: Go to the Manage Features section, and select Call Forwarding

Step 4: Select the button to enable call forwarding, so that it appears green. Once you’ve enabled the feature, select how many seconds you would like your calls to ring before they are forwarded (If you want ALL calls to be forwarded at all times, select a minimum number of seconds).

Step 5: Next, select the destination of your forwarded calls. In this case, you will most likely be allocating a landline or mobile number. Make sure you select the correct country or region when entering the phone number.

You can forward your Skype calls to up to three mobile or landline phone numbers worldwide by selecting Add Number and entering the details as above.

Step 6: Confirm the changes you have made.

Once you have followed these steps, every call received will be forwarded to your chosen phone number, even if you aren’t actually signed into your Skype account.

To turn off Skype for Business Call Forwarding, simply sign in to your account, go to Call Forwarding in the Manage Features section, and select the green button to disable the feature.

The nbn™ Network: What You Need To Know

Are you wondering if you have to move to the NBN?

For most people, the answer is YES! That is, if you want to keep your landline phone and internet services.

Sounds drastic, but it’s true, because to make way for the new network, parts of the existing network are being switched off. Watch the video below to find out more.

Prepare your business properly

Are your landline phone and internet services NBN-ready? Will your existing phone and internet technology, including your phone system, continue to work after the disconnection of the copper network?

There are a lot of questions, that’s for sure. At Infiniti, we like providing people with honest information that will get them where they need to be. You can call us today on 1300 889 792 to find out how your business can be prepared for the NBN.

We also offer a comprehensive, fully subsidised NBN-ready audit. our technicians will come to your office and assess everything from your phone system to your EFTPOS terminal, and help arm you with what you need to make a smooth and cost effective NBN transition. Call our specialised team directly on 1300 513 140 now.

Telstra turning off the 2G Network

What you need to know to be prepared

The Telstra 2G network has been operating for a long time, but on 1st December 2016, Telstra officially turned it off in every corner of Australia. While they did spend the months ahead of the switch off contacting those consumers who still have devices that use the 2G network, there are still a lot of people and businesses that will be affected.

Knowing what the 2G switch off means, how it affects emergency service access, and understanding how you will be affected, is crucial information for everyone, even those using 3G and 4G technology.

person holding smartphone to demonstrate Telstra turning off the 2G network

Why did Telstra turn off the 2G Network?

The 2G network was what we used in the early days of mobile communication. While it played an important role, it’s now making way for better technology. The fact that Telstra are getting rid of such an outdated technology will mean two things.

The first is that they won’t be investing in outdated technology. This will make more room for investment in more up to date technologies.

The second is that, if other providers follow in Telstra’s footsteps (and they will), the 900Mhz frequency will be freed up. The 900 Mhz band is already used by Telstra for 4G technology. By disconnecting the 2G network, space will be freed for them and other providers to increase 4G cover, and that of newer technologies.

What does Telstra turning off the 2G network mean for you?

No 2G sim card in any phone or mobile broadband device or 2G machine to machine device that connects to the Telstra network will work anymore. This has especially important repercussions for the emergency services. Any piece of important equipment should be upgraded immediately.

If you try to call the emergency services on 000 or 112 on a 2G device, it will not work on the Telstra network. However, if you are in the range of a 2G network from another provider, such as Vodafone or Optus, your device will use their network and be able to make the call.

When you’re within range of another 2G provider’s network, your screen is likely to display ‘SOS’ or ‘Emergency Calls Only’.

How can you tell if you are affected by Telstra turning off the 2G network?

  1. Check what type of SIM card is in your device
  2. Check your mobile handheld device
  3. Mobile network settings

What if I have a 3G or 4G Sim Card that sometimes shows the 2G symbol?

If you have a 3G or 4G enabled sim card and phone, it is unlikely you will notice any difference.

3G and 4G technology is designed to be backwards compatible with previous generation mobile frequencies. In the past this has meant that, in areas where the 3G and 4G networks aren’t available, your phone would have searched for a 2G frequency and used it. You would have been able to at least receive phone calls and text messages in areas where only 2G was available.

Now that Telstra has disconnected the network, it is officially gone as a backup. Now, your phone will simply show no signal. You won’t be able to make or receive calls or text messages. This excludes emergency calls, as mentioned above.

Advice for anyone with a 2G phone or device

Turnin off the 2G network is just the start

The other networks will follow.

Many older industrial devices or terminals may still use 2G  networks. This table will show you how you can access the 3G and 4G networks from your devices:

 

Device & SIM card What you’ll need to do
If you have a 2G SIM card in a 2G device Neither will work, so you’ll need to purchase a new 3G SIM card and a  new device
You have a 2G SIM card in a 3G/4G device Your device will still work, but you’ll need a new 3G SIM card
You have a 3G SIM card in a 2G device You’ll need a new device, and depending on which device you purchase, you may also need a new 3G SIM card
You have a 3G SIM card in a 3G/4G device Make sure that  your device network Settings are configured to ‘Auto’.

If your business operates in a rural or remote location and you have always relied on having 2G Telstra coverage, you need to act. The other providers will be following in Telstra’s footsteps and turning off their 2G networks in the future. Relying on them as backup is not a good idea.

The Big Picture

We know there is a lot of politics around new technology and the NBN at present. The fact is we’re moving forward, whether we like it or not.
The many changes in technology can seem confusing and complicated, but the truth is that they are unavoidable. If your business isn’t ready for what lays ahead, you could find yourself left behind.

The good news is that you can take steps early to make understand how your business will be impacted. A subsidised NBN-ready audit is available for your business until 31 March, 2017. If you want to make sure you’re armed with everything you need, get in touch with our team today. Being prepared for the NBN could very well be the best decision you make for your business this year.

Get Ready for the NBN

Make sure your business is prepared with an NBN-ready audit

Are you hoping (like many people) that you don’t have to do anything to get ready for the NBN?Are you hesitating because switching your services over is a hassle you’d like to avoid? Please, read on!

Unfortunately the NBN will hold no prisoners, and you’ll have to confront the big change sooner, rather than later.

For residential customer, switching an internet connection and a phone line is a breeze. But for businesses, there can be multiple different services that you’ll need to think about. It can get complicated because the NBN isn’t a one-size-fits all technology. Watch this video for a quick guide to switching to the NBN.

Why it’s so important to get ready for the NBN

The fact that the NBN is not a choice is only the tip of the iceberg. You’ll not only have to migrate your internet to a broadband solution, but you’ll also have to consider your phones. That means your phone system, EFTPOS terminals, your fax machine, your HICAPS terminal, and your security systems. Every device will have to switch, but the catch is that not every device is NBN friendly.

Another reason that preparation is key to a successful switch is the fact that the NBN is a Multi Mix Technology (MTM). Not every NBN connection is the same, and the type you get will depend on what type NBN Co. rolls out in your area. Again, you won’t get a choice here, so understanding what type you’ll get, and how your internet and phone lines will operate, is crucial.

Time may not be on your side

One of the biggest mistakes we have seen businesses make is the assumption that they don’t need to do anything to get ready for the NBN. There is an assumption that the switch will be as simple as NBN Co. advertises it will be – ‘as easy as 1, 2, 3’.

Migrating your services is NOT a simple unplug, replug deal. Existing outlets will no longer work. Current devices may no longer work. Your phone system may no longer work. And if you plan to switch at the last minute, you won’t have time to sort out any of these problems before NBN Co switches off your existing services.

An NBN installation can occur between ten days and six weeks after you place your order. If anything doesn’t work the way it should, it can take the same amount of time again to have the issue resolved. Add to that the fact that NBN Co. will be switching ALL traditional services within 18 months of the rollout hitting your area.

Waiting – and not being prepared – aren’t worth the risk of having no phone, internet, EFTPOS, fax… you get the idea.

Get ready for the NBN with a personalised audit

Doing the research  to understand the NBN inside and out is not for everybody, nor should it be. Your top priority is making sure the telecommunications wheels keep on turning when your business makes the switch.

In order to help businesses keep that priority in check, we’ve developed a comprehensive NBN-ready audit. One of our tech wizards will visit your office and thoroughly assess your current setup. they’ll talk to you about your future prospects and expectations, and make recommendations. In short, they will give you everything you need to switch smoothly to the NBN. They’ll also offer advice on how to save yourself a fortune on new hardware and equipment.

It really will make your life a lot easier, and give you peace of mind that you’ll be saving money by getting the right advice from people you can trust.

Get in touch with the Australian based Infiniti team now to find out more about our NBN audit, and book your assessment for only $99 – but be quick, this great price is only available until 1st January, 2017!

Do Hosted Solutions spell the end for Traditional Phone Systems?

Is your traditional phone system on it’s last legs?

If you had asked our experts ten years ago whether or not a hosted phone system is as good as a traditional phone system, you might possibly have been laughed out of the room. But now the tables have turned, and it’s often our hosted customers that are doing the laughing.

So what is a Hosted phone system?

It’s safe to say that most people have now at least heard of a hosted phone system, so we won’t get into too much of the nitty gritty here.

Basically, it will do the same thing as your traditional phone system, but your chosen provider hosts all of the programs and features. These live ‘in the cloud’ – which just means ‘in the internet’.

A hosted pbx system comes with a basic network modem/switch, to which you connect IP phone handsets. This network switch communicates over the internet back to the hosted pbx provider. The brains and hardware that drive these hosted pbx solutions are located off premises. There’s no large admin unit in the office. No need for your IT guys to worry about maintenance and management. And every change you’d like made to your system can be done remotely by your provider or, in many cases, you can do it yourself using a web-based application.

Why are Hosted pbx phone systems so popular?

1. No hardware = no installation

Unlike phone systems that require technicians to install the main equipment, hosted pbx systems don’t. Once there’s an available internet connection, you simply plug the router switch into it. All the instructions it receives travel from your host (provider) over the internet.

2. No hardware = reduced costs

With no main equipment, you’ll likely be able to implement a hosted solution for less money.

3. Choice of handsets

Unlike traditional phone systems (where you buy handsets of the same brand as the phone system), most hosted pbx suppliers are brand agnostic. You can connect any SIP handset to them, which increases your options and flexibility.

4. More features

Because your chosen host will have all features available to all of their connected customers, you won’t need to licence expensive add-ons like call recording, or call counting, which you do have to do with traditional phone systems. The provider will be able to activate any features you want with the click of a mouse. The Hosted PBX solution we provide, for example, come with a whole bunch of free features, and free programming for life. There are other optional features available, but at a fraction of the cost you’d find with traditional phone systems.

5. Grow as big as you want ANYWHERE

Your staff can connect to your system ANYWHERE in the world with a good internet connection and an IP handset. A Hosted PBX provider can connect thousands of users in the same organisation, across multiple locations. That means no size restrictions.

6. Mobility

Mobility is hot, and it’s only going to grow in the future. Hosted PBX systems make it much easier for you to stay connected anywhere, anytime, using any mobile device.

Out with the old and in with the new?

While they are super popular, getting rid of your existing system might not be the most viable option for your business. If you’re looking for a new system, we’d always recommend hosted, hands down. But there are also a lot of good reasons to keep using the PBX system you’ve already got.

Our Hosted colution, supplied by our chosen carrier partner, SpringCom, really does deliver savings and features that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Give our team a call to find out more about our easy setup, loads of free features, and FREE programming for life.

10 Benefits Of VoIP for Small Business

VoIP phone systems used to be for big business only – my how times have changed.  The reality is that small businesses experience equal, if not greater benefits than their larger counterparts by implementing a VoIP solution.  This is because smaller companies often have a disproportionate amount of phone lines; larger companies that have 60 staff will typically have about 20 lines, but it’s not uncommon for a small business with only 4 staff to have 4 traditional phone lines.

This is probably mostly due to the fact that they spend more time on the phone with the obvious multitasking that goes on with having less staff.  They need to have available phone lines for incoming calls, but still have capacity when they’re using the phone to make outbound calls.

Not having to pay expensive line rentals is a major benefit of implementing VoIP for small business,  but it’s not the only one – far from it.  If you’re a small business, you would be crazy if you didn’t ate least run the numbers for yourself, because a Hosted Phone system that uses VoIP technology will save you a packet.

The benefits of having VoIP for Small Business

Before we go on… yes, we are affiliated with SpringCom, who are our chosen carrier partner, and supplier of our Hosted Phone System solutions.

The following benefits are based on the SpringCom Hosted PBX system  that we provide here at Infiniti, and their super-affordable call rates. Other providers may not be able to deliver the advantages that we have listed below.

1. Dirt Cheap VoIP Mobile Calls

Calls to mobile phone rates typically represent about 70% of a small business’ phone bill.  With VoIP phone systems, we’ve seen customers cut their monthly bill by up to 60%, and you can imagine the incredible impact this will have on reducing your overall spend.

While we do’t provide phone services, SpringCom is our chosen carrier partner. They offer a FREE phone bill appraisal for businesses; simply give them a past phone bill and they’ll te you exactly how much you’ll save if you make the switch to their VoIP services. Give their friendly, Australian based team a call on 1300 857 194 if you;d like to know more.

2. VoIP Untimed locals and STD calls

With no flag falls or timed calls, you can make as many calls as you like for an ultra low fixed rate.  Long distance and local calls usually make up about 30% of a typical small business phone bill – now you can talk for as long as you want, without being charged extra for long distance calls.

3. Cheap VoIP international call rates

VoIP international rates are a LOT more affordable than traditional rates, and if you make IDD calls then you’ll save plenty!

4. No expensive line rentals

At the moment you probably pay anywhere up to $40 per traditional PSTN phone line.  With VoIP and SIP trunks, you can get 10 phone lines for  less than you pay for 3 phone lines!

5. More phone lines for FREE

Plenty of customers would have more phone lines if they didn’t have to pay for them.  With VoIP and SIP you can have free excess capacity at no charge!

6. Hosted PBX

Hosted phone systems completely eliminates the need for expensive hardware.  All of the complicated stuff – along with the maintenance and management if your system – is handles by your host.

7. Expensive features for free

With a SpringCom Hosted PBX system, you get over 50 features for free – features that you’d have to pay for with Hybrid systems.  Features such as video conferencing, call recording, call accounting, multiparty conferencing, multiple answering points, voicemail, auto attendant and much more.

8. Free Programming for LIFE!

SpringCom offers absolutely, 100% free programming changes to your Hosted Phone system for life. So any time you need to update a message or change your hunt groups, they are only a phone call away, and will make the changes instantly.

9. Remote workers & Mobile Office

Do you have staff that are constantly on the go, or do you travel a lot? With an internet connection and an IP handset, you can now effortlessly connect remote and mobile workers to your Hosted PBX system for a lot less than you can with traditional PBX solutions. It’s also super-easy to connect using mobile devices from pretty much anywhere in Australia no that the NBN is being rolled out.

10. Scalability

With a Hosted PBX system that utilises VoIP, you won’t have to purchase any expensive equipment as your business grows. Adding users is just a matter of getting contacting your provider and getting an additional handset. And there’s no limit, so grow, grow, grow!

As you can see, there are some decent reasons to implement VoIP for our small business solution.  Speak to one of our Infiniti VoIP specialists today, we’ll organise a free demonstration so you can see how effective it can be for your company.

Busting Myths about VoIP

Time to settle this once and for all!

Now that the NBN is making it’s way out across Australia, avoiding the reality that is VoIP is no longer possible. Sooner or later, over 90% of Australians will be using a VoIP service to make phone calls.

But in the past, poor old VoIP has got itself a bad rap.

Scared traditional PBX resellers are perhaps the greatest culprits perpetuating myths regarding VoIP for business as a viable solution.  We provide both Hosted and Hybrid solutions, so we’ve heard every myth in existence.

But because VoIP is going to be unavoidable, we thought it was high time we got our myth-busting hats on an addressed some of the misconceptions once and for all.

 

Busting the most common Myths about VoIP

Myth #1 – VoIP is totally unreliable

One of the reasons this myth is so popular is because, if you don’t have the right service to make business phone calls, you’re going to experience problems. Way back when VoIP first emerged, this was more common than it is now. Actually – this problem should be non-existent now, if you go with the right provider.

If your phone service is sharing with your internet service, an email download could mean interruptions to your phone calls. There are two possible solutions. The first is to up the bandwidth (only viable for smaller businesses). The second is to get a separate, dedicated data service that exists only for your phone system.

When it comes to running your phone system, using SIP is really the only way to go. It’s next-level, business grade VoIP, and it’s fast, reliable, and affordable. We won’t go into the details of SIP trunking here, but head to this page if you’d like to know more about how SIP works with a phone system. And remember when talking to a potential service provider to ask for BUSINESS GRADE VoIP.

Myth #2 – You need IT specialists to operate it

Hogwash!  VoIP and SIP, once set up, do exactly what your traditional phone lines do. You pick up your phone, dial the number, and talk to someone.

Your VoIP service will simply plug into your modem rather than into a wall socket. But if you want to get technical, with IP enabled phone systems, you’ll also be able to make calls using your computer and mobile devices.

Myth #3 – VoIP isn’t secure

It’s true that VoIP and Hosted PBX fraud is a thing, but most VoIP providers have stricter safeguards than their traditional phone line counterparts.  If someone started making lots of fraudulent calls on your phone system, a VoIP provider would know well before you got your phone bill from Telstra ( who might not even notice, tbh).

You’ve also got the power to make sure you are protected from hackers, find out how here.

Myth #4 – VoIP is hard to install and use

It’s actually extremely simple. You simply connect your handsets to your router, and because Hosted phone system handsets are already programmed, you can just start using them straight away. No fiddling about required.  As far as operation, the VoIP and SIP handsets look and operate just like normal phones.  One touch buttons for all key features.

Myth #5 – Small business doesn’t benefit from VoIP

The truth of the matter is actually the complete opposite.  We actually wrote a completely separate article about this point alone.  Checkout out our post why VoIP for small business is ideal.

The truth is, this probably won’t be the last negative misinformation you hear about VoIP, but sooner or later it will be time to accept that it’s the phone solution of the future.

If you want to get on the awesome VoIP bandwagon, speak to one of our Infiniti phone system experts. We offer both Hybrid and Hosted solutions, and we’ll happily go through the pro’s and con’s of each with you.