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Taking off from where I left my trilogy, we are moving on to mid-range VoIP services here. Perceptibly, we are talking about VoIP service that is slightly more expensive than entry-level phone services, priced at mid-range on the bar with dozens of included features. VoIP providers are conceptualizing more and more mid-range service packages to provide a complete solution and scalable product line based on a single architecture that could act as an interface to traditional telephony as well as VoIP. Simplifying this, I am talking about one-stop user interface, based upon reliable technology and infrastructure that can develop, manufacture and support cost-effective product.
Unlike the basic ones, which are targeted towards the residential segment of the market; mid-range VoIP is basically targeted to grab the market comprising of, enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), and small offices, home offices (SOHO). VoIP providers dealing in the mid-range segment have the ability to customize their plans based on the ever-changing needs of this category. They customize to adapt to the way customers run their business, where products are installed and maintained with ease.
Jabbing at the hardware first, you will be delighted to know that other than SIP-enabled phones, no hardware is required (preferably the plug-and-play certified IP phones). In fact, you don’t even need to throw away your previous telephone, as the service allows VoIP gateway to integrate your existing PBX so you can VoIP enable your several offices. This allows you to keep using your analog or cordless phones. Going with the hosted angle of the VoIP service, the need to get costly gear is abolished. Most of the providers ask for featured phones from Cisco, Panasonic, Polycom, or Yealink to use with Internet connection.
Coming to cost involved in the calling plans, you need to consider the extensions being used. You can also mix and match your various extensions. Most of the providers provide an extension at around $40 per month for unlimited U.S and Canadian calling. Metered extensions are also available for the users.
Features being one of the most appealing aspect of VoIP, let’s have a look on them as well. Most of the features from the basic range VoIP are available in the mid-range service line. However, the mid-range VoIP includes some of the advanced features in the bundle.
Advanced Calling Features: This includes advanced call forwarding, screening, logging, transferring, and parking options; 411/911 calling; call hold; Blind transfer, attended transfer; call divert; conferencing (3-way Conference Bridge on phone); call waiting; switching between calls; redialing; three-line LCD display shows call information
User Interface: Address book; Address book import/export ; Caller-ID; Menu driven; Selectable ringing melodies; URL Dialing support; 4 speed dial configurable keys; Message waiting indication.
Flexibility: Add components from different vendors to infrastructure supporting both SIP and IAX; Direct access to the main menu for feature management; interactive navigation keys that guide users through call features and functions
Maintenance: A centralized update mechanism keeps all devices in the network up to date, making them a safe investment in a dynamic field. Remotely manageable and firmware-upgradable, uniquely easy to install, and largely self-configuring
Voicemail: Voicemail, available via Web interface or sent to email as an MP3 file
Virtual Receptionist: Virtual receptionist for each extension, with support for music on-hold and dial by name
Enables flexible deployment behind local proxies, IP PBXs or hosted VoIP services
Plug and Play support, Integrated Router for simultaneous connectivity of VOIP and PC over network
Miscellaneous Features: Desktop call control, add-on applications like Predictive Dialing; VoIP QoS, network traversal and troubleshooting; legacy PSTN interface design and troubleshooting; Speed dialing; local dial plan; lists of missed, received and dialed calls; call waiting indication; call blocking (deny list); blocking of anonymous calls
It is pretty clear that scalability defines your choice of VoIP, be it the basic or the mid-range one. Mid-range VoIP service combines stable service line, with a more balanced approach to cost factor. Coming up next is an autopsied complicated VoIP service line. Wait for it!