Recently had a client setting up a new office. Normally a business has Telstra install multiple lines with a PABX of some description. Although a stable, tried and true service it can be costly, both for setup and ongoing call costs.
I asked them to have a look at a Voice over IP solution, or VoIP for short. There is a few providers now offering a hosted pbx service which in essence works like a full featured telephone system. There is no PBX box or VoIP server, its all hosted by the service provider. All that is needed on the client end is a few IP phones. These are digital telephones that are used exclusively for VoIP.
With the right service provider you will receive all the features of a standard PBX such as: Call Hold, Transfer, Park, Divert, conference; Plus there is Voicemail, voicemail to email, Caller Line ID overstamping (this means your primary number is displayed when you call from any of the handsets), Direct Dial In Numbers (each handset has a unique phone number for direct dialing, music on hold or advertising on hold (promote your products while callers are on hold).
Not only is there all these great features the phone call pricing is also amazing. Local & STD call costs are 10c untimed, mobile from 15c per minute; with most offering free call allocations with the monthly service fee (around $20 per line).
Phone call quality is dependent on the broadband connection used to carry the calls and the ‘codec’ or compression. Generally, most users find the call quality comparable to mobile telephone calls.