VoIP in business: ADSL vs Diginet

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Article source: ITWeb 

Many South African organisations’ migrations from traditional copper-wire telephone systems to voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) have been plagued by stories of negligent service providers, delays, ailing voice quality and sub-standard, yet mission-critical, services.

So says Danie Fourie, director at Internet service provider XDSL, who points out that “VOIP, as a viable alternative, has been oversold by service providers as the voice communications nirvana that offered lower costs with superior quality business services compared to traditional telephony services”.
According to Fourie, using cumbersome ADSL connectivity to lower costs – even with advanced compression technologies to enhance quality – has failed to deliver on that promise.
“ADSL, while relatively inexpensive, is sufficient for many business-critical applications but can’t deliver stable, business-grade telephony. Many companies were, in fact, misguided by so-called communications experts about the limitations of ADSL as the preferred platform for a VOIP solution.”
Fourie also points out that while using wires (already in use for telecommunications) is the most common type of connectivity available in SA, ADSL has different maximum data transfer rates for uploading and downloading data and, as a result, data throughput may vary.
He adds that, in prominent business areas, ADSL exchanges are often oversubscribed and voice quality lowers significantly as overall usage in these areas increases.
“Sure, it may be cheaper than alternatives such as Diginet and fibre, but it is not stable, and offers at best a ‘best-effort’ service.”
Another industry player, Graeme Victor, MD of Du Pont Telecoms, concurs, saying ADSL has no quality of service and varies from one exchange to another. “So the quality can vary from good to very bad. Also when down, Telkom offers no service level agreement, so it can be down for days.”
David Meintjes, MD of Connection Telecom, also notes that ADSL “offers very little in real terms; previously costs were the benefit. Currently, Diginet services are available at similar pricing to ADSL services and are more appropriate for quality voice.
However, he says the only benefit would be if an organisation already has ADSL for data and wishes to introduce voice onto that to run a converged voice and data service within the organisation.
“We have a customer with more than 400 sites that carries voice over its ADSL network – the ADSL network is good enough to carry quality voice for 88% of the time and the other 12% we use an alternate path being local STN break out,” Meintjes explains.
Fourie, on the other hand, believes that Diginet – once seen as an expensive, ailing technology – offers a dedicated, synchronous data transfer service that provides guaranteed bandwidth from point to point for each line within the organisation.
“This offers a solid foundation for VOIP and an always-on, always available service.”
As a settled service, Fourie adds, Diginet provides the platform for secure, high-quality services over a digital transmission network that can be controlled and monitored for quality assurance with service level agreements.
“While the price of Diginet lines has been a bone of contention and a barrier to entry for companies to upgrade, it is becoming more affordable and adopted in the South African market,” he says.
“The capital outlay is not as astronomical as what warmongers of ADSL VOIP make it out to be. In fact, it is today more affordable than traditional telephony services with the same amount of channels that companies are accustomed to, no matter the size and scope of their organisations.”

So says Danie Fourie, director at Internet service provider XDSL, who points out that “VOIP, as a viable alternative, has been oversold by service providers as the voice communications nirvana that offered lower costs with superior quality business services compared to traditional telephony services”.

According to Fourie, using cumbersome ADSL connectivity to lower costs – even with advanced compression technologies to enhance quality – has failed to deliver on that promise.

“ADSL, while relatively inexpensive, is sufficient for many business-critical applications but can’t deliver stable, business-grade telephony. Many companies were, in fact, misguided by so-called communications experts about the limitations of ADSL as the preferred platform for a VOIP solution.

”Fourie also points out that while using wires (already in use for telecommunications) is the most common type of connectivity available in SA, ADSL has different maximum data transfer rates for uploading and downloading data and, as a result, data throughput may vary.

He adds that, in prominent business areas, ADSL exchanges are often oversubscribed and voice quality lowers significantly as overall usage in these areas increases.

“Sure, it may be cheaper than alternatives such as Diginet and fibre, but it is not stable, and offers at best a ‘best-effort’ service.”

Another industry player, Graeme Victor, MD of Du Pont Telecoms, concurs, saying ADSL has no quality of service and varies from one exchange to another. “So the quality can vary from good to very bad. Also when down, Telkom offers no service level agreement, so it can be down for days.”

David Meintjes, MD of Connection Telecom, also notes that ADSL “offers very little in real terms; previously costs were the benefit. Currently, Diginet services are available at similar pricing to ADSL services and are more appropriate for quality voice.

However, he says the only benefit would be if an organisation already has ADSL for data and wishes to introduce voice onto that to run a converged voice and data service within the organisation.

“We have a customer with more than 400 sites that carries voice over its ADSL network – the ADSL network is good enough to carry quality voice for 88% of the time and the other 12% we use an alternate path being local STN break out,” Meintjes explains.

Fourie, on the other hand, believes that Diginet – once seen as an expensive, ailing technology – offers a dedicated, synchronous data transfer service that provides guaranteed bandwidth from point to point for each line within the organisation.

“This offers a solid foundation for VOIP and an always-on, always available service.”

As a settled service, Fourie adds, Diginet provides the platform for secure, high-quality services over a digital transmission network that can be controlled and monitored for quality assurance with service level agreements.“

While the price of Diginet lines has been a bone of contention and a barrier to entry for companies to upgrade, it is becoming more affordable and adopted in the South African market,” he says.

“The capital outlay is not as astronomical as what warmongers of ADSL VOIP make it out to be. In fact, it is today more affordable than traditional telephony services with the same amount of channels that companies are accustomed to, no matter the size and scope of their organisations.”

 

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