How to Build Your Own Efficient and Cost Effective VoIP System


If you are wondering about how you can get started with building an efficient and cost-effective VoIP system for your company or as a product, you have come to the right place. Know from an expert how you can start building a VoIP system, what all components and services you need and how you can get started.

If there is one segment that is going strong despite the corona induced economic downturn it is communication. If you operate a business you need communication beyond the standard landline. If you are thinking of starting a business then you can consider this segment. Within this, you have VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP permits a variety of VoIP solution development such as IPPBX, chat, instant messaging, video and conferencing. In this post, you will learn about how to build a VoIP system for your business. You can build a VoIP system to offer business communication services. The VoIP market will exceed $ 204 billion by 2020 end. That is incentive enough to start VoIP and grab a slice of the pie.

What is VoIP


In the simplest terms, VoIP is Voice over Internet Protocol. Standard telephony is analogue. In VoIP audio is converted to digital signals and transmitted through the internet in the form of packets. In addition to audio, one can convert video, multimedia and fax to packets.

The standard PSTN telephone makes use of dedicated wire pairs but audio packets may travel through any and multiple routes over the internet and are assembled at the destination. It does involve setting up a SIP server. You can set up a SIP server through which you can connect with VoIP carrier or service provider. Get yourself a SIP phone, connect it to the server and you have your basic VoIP phone system.

Setting up a SIP server and putting software in place is an involved task for which you will find it is better to employ VoIP software development services and VoIP solution providers. How you go about it depends on what type of services you plan to provide such as:
  • Unified communication
  • VoIP wholesale
  • SIP trunking
  • Mobile VoIP
  • Call center VoIP services
  • Calling cards
  • IP PBX
You can become a VoIP reseller and tie up with a VoIP service provider which would be an easy route but it limits future expansion. You may want to build the entire VoIP subsystem.

SIP


SIP is a short form of Session Initial Protocol that is responsible for establishing sessions between two devices. SIP initiates the session, maintains it and terminates it at the end of the call between two endpoints. It works for video, multimedia and messaging too. It can be used for calls between two parties or between several. One thing you must know is that it works with Real-time transport Protocol and with a Uniform Resource Identifier. Typically, a User Agent Client sends a SIP request that is received by the User Agent Server. A SIP proxy server has these two components.

The SIP Proxy server is at the core of the VoIP system. You have several options for downloading software and turning a computer into a SIP proxy server or using third-party servers. Anyway, the server connects to a variety of devices such as analogue phone through ATA or VoIP gateway, mobile phone with VoIP app, softphones on desktop computers and IP Phones. The server connects to the business network and through it to the router or directly if you do not have a network. The router connects to the VoIP service provider or carrier through the internet. If you plan on IPPBX and VoIP services then a SIP server proves helpful.


A typical setup:
  • Download and install VMWare to create a virtualized environment
  • Download and install client software and start the SIP provider instance, log in.
  • Check network settings and set up configuration files
  • Configure domain and users by pointing a browser to administrative web panel
  • Create a domain for users and make sure each domain name points to the IP address of the system
  • Create an account for each user and create a subscriber within the account.
  • Next install suitable client software

It is rather involved so you may be better off leaving it to a VoIP solution provider to do it for you. This is because there are various configurations possible. Stateless and Stateful SIP Proxy, for example, is one. If you set it up in a Stateless mode then the SIP Proxy does not maintain a record of a call. If you define it to work as a Stateful server then it will store records of transactions. The purpose of SIP Proxy, in short, is call routing, registration and authentication.

Gateway and servers


The SIP server is part of the overall signalling gateway control component of the VoIP network that not only allows H.323 and SIP protocols but also supports PSTN connectivity. The gateway also takes care of generating detailed call records and bandwidth management through admission control mechanism. Coding and packetization is another important function. A powerful CPU is necessary for the server and there should be failsafe provisioning to switch over to another server if one fails.

You will need to have a media gateway whose function is to transmit voice packets using RTP protocol besides supporting compression algorithms. The media gateway controller also handles digital signal processing resources to provide concurrent call support.

You may find it useful to include media server to handle media such as voicemail and video apart from its function of transmission of call progress tones and IVR support.

Should you consider offering VoIP services then you will need an application server to support private dialling plans, call forward, call park and other IPPBX features.

Gateways promote interworking and make the VoIP network appear as a native circuit-switched system to a circuit-switched network. The media travels directly from one end to another and transmit a signal through a SIP proxy.

This is an expensive and technically involved section of setting up your VoIP network. You may find it better to simply have a SIP server and then connect to VoIP gateway of a VoIP service provider.

That is not all; there is more you will need for your VoIP system once you have the gateway in place.

Class 5 softswitch


You have the SIP server set up for your VoIP system. However, you will also need class 5 softswitch. When a person makes an IP call, the call goes through the internet and first connects to the service provider's softswitch. The softswitch then directs the call to the right SIP and IP address or the DID number.

You will find the softswitch useful in a number of ways due to its rich feature set. You get support for video conferencing and unified communication. Users enjoy the benefit of call waiting/call transfer/findme-followme/DND, auto attendant and call forwarding as well as support for virtual numbers.

Importantly, the softswitch tracks usage and meters each call of each user. You can set rates and it will take care of billing customers. In addition you can set it up to operate in various ways like providing prepaid services, PIN and PINless authorization and residential user accounts. It also interfaces with the VoIP carrier who will connect it to the class 4 softswitch that takes care of bulk, long distance traffic.

You can get the class 4 softswitch from specialists in VoIP software development and they will be happy to set it up in your VoIP network and configure it for your use. It is a good idea to get a white label solution should you plan to run VoIP as a business and serve larger enterprises as well as retailers. Another option is to go for the hosted model that will help save on upfront investment. You pay only for usage.

If you are looking to get started on a low budget then it may be more practical to simply tie-up with a VoIP service provider. The Service Provider usually has all these features and facility in place. However, if you are planning on growing into a VoIP service provider yourself then follow this route. Additionally, it is time to consider adding a session border controller to your VOIP network.

The session border controller


The way VoIP work exposes your network and opens up ports even though you may be behind a firewall. That makes you vulnerable to security threats. Hackers may inject malware, steal data, make use of your VoIP services, spoof identity and, worse, cause DoS attack that simply brings down your network and service. This is where you benefit by putting in place a session border controller at the edge of your VoIP system network. It stands guard, detects all threats and protects your internal network.

Various functions of the session border controller for VoIP:
  • Preventing DoS attack: DoS attackers simply inundate your network with thousands of requests per second. The SBC steps in and blocks that IP address.
  • You can set limits to simultaneous calls per subscriber or user
  • You can selectively block destinations and create white list and blacklist.
  • It can be configured for least cost routing.
  • Your SBC performs the crucial role of managing NAT issues. Without it, you will find more instances of difficulty in making outbound calls as well as connecting with inbound calls.
  • Given that there are so many protocols and media codecs in use these days it would be a challenge for your VoIP system to recognize and manage codecs. What will happen is that there is a loss in audio quality or difficulty in connecting and hearing the caller or making yourself heard. The session border controller manages transcoding and protocol handling seamlessly.
  • IT will translate IPv6/IPv4 for media and signalling.
  • It hides SIP headers and prevents eavesdropping or packet snooping.

As with SIP servers and media gateways, there is plenty of configuration options in the SBC to fine-tune it to your way of working and service model. Get the SBC from VoIP software Development Company and they will assist with setting it up in your VoIP system.

VoIP software


So far you have simply put together the VoIP platform. You will need VoIP software from VoIP software developers to make full use of VoIP technologies. You may find a use for the software for your business or, if you plan to work as a VoIP service provider you can offer these as services to your customers.
  • IPPBX: The IPPBX software is quite a step up from standard PSTN landline phones. Calls cost less and there are more features like intercom, Direct Inward Dialing number, find me/follow me, busy lamp on extensions call recording, contact list and lots more. You can plug a mobile phone into the software or you can use SIP softphone or IP phone or even PSTN phone through ATA connector. Calls, whether local or international, cost considerably less.
  • Call centre software: Primarily meant for call centre operators, the software can also be used by businesses. You can set up lists and get predictive dialer to dial them one by one. The automatic call distributor feature and skill-based mapping let you selective route inbound calls to specific persons. You may get WebRTC that allows for audio-video chat and conference. You have call records and analytics too in addition to a host of other features.
  • IVR: You can simply use IVR as a self-service tool for your business. Incoming calls go into the IVR and let callers obtain the information they need or connect to a human agent.
  • SMS/Voice broadcasting: Create text message or record voice message. Select a list of numbers. Send hundreds of thousands of SMS in just a couple of minutes – great for your marketing campaigns or surveys or to disseminate information.
  • Conferencing: Audio and video conferencing software permit interaction between two or more people in a secure way. Let teams within the organization use conferencing for collaboration. It is a very useful tool once you start using it.
A VoIP system, as you can see, is quite complex these days, especially if you want it for business purpose. It must have the capacity to handle the high number of concurrent calls in a secure way. It must handle all sorts of media codecs to permit seamless communication. You will need an entire chain of sub-components for a full-featured system and VoIP software to make use of the platform. Get started by retaining experts in VoIP solution development to guide you.


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