Voice Gateway: Everything You Need to Know
- Last Updated: 03 Jan 24
- 9 min read
In today’s digital world, customers crave more interactive communication without disturbance.
Yet, many businesses use outdated telephone systems which makes communication difficult.
Voice Gateway is a ray of hope 🙂 for outdated phones with many advanced features like improved call quality, cost savings, smooth connectivity, and many more.
Are you thinking 🤔 of switching from analog phones to VoIP phones?
In this article, you’ll know what are the benefits of using VoIP gateways and how will this help you in your business.
Let’s get started.
What Is VoIP/Voice Gateway?
A Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or voice gateway is a hardware that helps to convert analog telephone signals to digital data and vice versa over the internet.
It helps to enhance two-way communication between analog phones and VoIP phones.
Voice gateways have played a crucial role in the development of telecommunication. They have made it possible to convert voice over long distances efficiently and also made it possible to connect different networks.
There are many benefits of using voice gateways. Some of the ways it helped businesses are:
- Cost Saving: Since the voice gateway allows voice calls to be made via an IP network, it reduces long-distance and international call rates. Voice gateway manages all your VoIP calls with the help of a single provider further reducing the billing costs.
- Advanced Features and Functionality: Advanced features and functionality of the voice gateway like auto-call attendant, call forwarding, call queuing, and many more help you to enhance communication to speed up your business.
- Global Presence: Businesses are getting a global presence using voice gateways as voice gateways have helped to improve call quality, reduce call costs, increase flexibility, and help in customer service.
- Unified Communication: If you are a business person, you must use various forms of communication like video, audio, and messaging.
- Easy Maintenance and Updates: If you are a PSTN user, maintenance activity must have been difficult for you. For your maintenance task, you need technical support. However, voice gateways are generally easy to maintain compared to PSTN. On your own, you can perform maintenance tasks and software updates without any technical support.
- Enhance Call Management Capabilities: The only main motive of the voice gateway is to connect old phone technology to new technology allowing you to make calls simultaneously, unlike PSTN which only converts one call at a time.
- Portable and flexible: Unlike PSTN, voice gateway can be easily moved from one region to another. You can easily move your voice gateway and phone numbers to any new location you are willing without the fear of rewiring or new phone lines.
How Does Voice Gateway Work?
Voice Gateway works by converting analog signal to digital signal and vice-versa. It helps to integrate and optimize voice communication.
1. Directing Voice Traffic
The Voice gateway works as a bridge between PSTN and the IP network, if it detects that voice traffic originated from PSTN, it will transfer the analog signal to the digital signal. The digital signal is now compressed using a codec and a signaling protocol is used which divides it into many packets and is sent to an IP address.
If the voice gateway detects that voice traffic originated from an IP address, it will decompress the digital packets into a digital signal. It is then transformed into an analog signal and is routed to PSTN.
2. Handling Multiple Calls
If we look for PSTN gateways, only one call is converted at a time but the voice gateway allows you to handle multiple calls simultaneously which helps to increase the call capacity of busy companies.
3. VoIP Protocols and Codecs
VoIP protocols and codes help in the whole functioning of the voice gateway.
- VoIP Protocols: VoIP protocols are a set of rules that set the roadmap to VoIP communication. They are the main factors that define how the devices connect, make calls, and transmit data over the internet.
- VoIP Codecs: VoIP codecs are a set of algorithms that help to compress and decompress the audio signal and transmit it over the internet.
What are The Types Of VoIP Gateways?
Mainly there are three types of VoIP gateways. They are described below:
1. Analog Gateways
Analog gateways are the type of voice gateway that helps to connect traditional phone systems to VoIP networks or to connect VoIP phone systems to PSTN. As they work both ways, due to their dual functionality, analog gateways come in two different forms. They are
- FXS Gateways: FXS gateway also known as Foreign Exchange Subscriber works as an adapter that connects analog devices to a VoIP system and allows you to use your existing phone for VoIP calls.
- FXO Gateways: FXO also known as Foreign Exchange Office is an interface that helps to connect VoIP systems to analog phone lines.
2. Digital Gateways
Digital gateways are the type of voice gateway that help to connect VoIP systems to digital signals.
- E1/T1/PRI Gateways: They help you handle high-volume calls as they connect digital phone systems to digital sagittal signals.
- ISDN Gateways: ISDN also known as Integrated Service Digital Network serves as a connection between your VoIP phone system and ISDN lines.
3. Hybrid Gateways
They are a combination of both analog and digital gateways. They can be known as versatile tools as they convert both analog and digital signals simultaneously.
What are the most popular voice gateways available?
In recent days many voice gateways have become popular. Some of the most popular voice gateways are:
1. Google and Router Voice Gateways
Google Voice Gateway is a service that is associated with Google Voice including all the features like call forwarding, voicemail, and many more allowing users to have a single phone number in several devices.
It allows the business person to use Google Voice which helps in effective communication. With the help of Google Voice for Business, companies can use a single phone number on several devices which helps to enhance communication.
A Router Voice Gateway is a device that connects the functions of a router and voice gateway.
It forwards the data packets within computer networks helping in communication between devices within networks and with external networks.
2. Cisco Voice Gateway
A Cisco voice gateway is a device that acts as a passageway between traditional phone systems and VoIP. Cisco voice gateway is commonly used to connect the PSTN network to VoIP services and enhance communication.
Cisco Unified is a group of Cisco technologies that offers unified and integrated communication and collaboration solutions.
Cisco Voice Gateway Troubleshooting Guide
- Check for the physical connections.
- Verify the power supply.
- Check for network connectivity.
- Verify IP addressing.
- Ensure configuration matches the network setup and service provider requirements.
- Make sure dial plans are working correctly for call routing.
- Always analyze the call logs.
- Update your software from time to time
3. Session Initiation Protocol(SIP) Trunking
Session Initiation Protocol(SIP) trunking is a technology that helps users make and receive calls without the use of traditional phone lines.
It is a signaling protocol widely used to connect a Private Branch Exchange(PBX) to the internet or service provider’s networks. SIP trunking enhances flexibility and is cost-effective as it allows voice and multimedia communication to be transmitted over the same network.
Things to consider while choosing a Voice Gateway for your business
Features and FunctionalityThe most important factor to consider when choosing a voice gateway is its function and functionality. Every voice gateway provider has different features and functionality.
So consider factors like call forwarding, voicemails, video calling, and integration with other communication systems/platforms.
CostCost plays a vital role in any business. According to the features of the voice gateway, the cost may vary.
So, you can compare the prices of the different voice gateway providers along with the features and consider both upfront costs and monthly fees. Also, some may add additional fees for extra features, you have to pay attention to that.
Understand Your RequirementsWhen choosing a voice gateway firstly, you need to know what your requirements are. According to your requirements, you can choose VoIP wisely.
If you are a business person and have to handle more calls then features like auto-attendant, and mailbox are useful. But if you are a solo user then you can consider features like direct calling.
User-friendlyYou also can consider the factor of how user-friendly the voice gateway is. If the voice gateway is not user-friendly, it becomes difficult for you to function well. So, a voice gateway is user-friendly and is a must for easy management and configuration.
Integration with VoIP Service ProvidersMake sure the gateway works with your chosen VoIP provider and their protocols. Consider your future business growth and make sure your chosen voice gateway can adapt to your upcoming needs.
SecuritySecurity also plays a vital role when choosing a voice gateway. All the voice gateway providers may not be safe. You must confirm the security features like encryption, secure provision, and many more.
Look for various options for the network of a gateway. Confirm it supports huge call volumes and can work with the network infrastructures you currently have.
Now that you have learned everything about Voice Gateway, it’s your time to take action. Choose the best gateway that aligns with your needs. You can always count on KrispCall’s VoIP phone system which works perfectly with most of the gateways.
Voice gateway acts as magic for business because of its advanced features. So, make a switch today from analog phones to digital phones and say hello to unified communication.