My early background was in telecommunications and when NICE made the decision to change from a T1, DS3 and traditional TDM based telecom network to a VoIP driven telecom network, I helped to develop our first VoIP training program using a book called Carrier Grade VoIP. As with many telecom technologies, often you cannot simply say that one telecom technology is better than another.... rather it is different. Each comes with it's own advantages and disadvantages. As an example, traditional telecom required telecom users to set aside a channel or circuit for every call, and generally forced that channel to use 64 kb of bandwidth. This served the traditional telecom world well, but it was expensive and as competition drove prices down and trends like home agents increased, having a a dedicated line for every phone call became prohibitive. VoIP was a great solution, making more efficient use of network resources and allowing an agent to actually use their broadband internet for both data and voice. VoIP even offered the ability to compress that audio and thereby reduce the bandwidth needed for the call. The normal non-compressed audio codec is called G.711 and the compressed audio codec is called G.729. G.729 works very well, and I really cannot tell the difference between the two, most of the time. However, they are different in one way that manifests itself clearly. That one way is in how G.729 processes music as compared to G.711. The phone network is not designed to pass high fidelity music, but that said, G.711 does an adequate job. G.729 however, because it is trying to compress the audio, often causes music to sound distorted. As an example, music on hold will often sound broken and a bit garbled. As soon as the music stops and you begin speaking - it is just fine. So when a person is using a G.729 coder for their call, and they complain about music on hold sounding bad... that is, unfortunately a problem of 'works as designed'.
My objective in this discussion is to point out, that VoIP is now the big thing and we get many questions about and requests for VoIP solutions. This includes questions about SIP trunks, SIP over MPLS, encrypted audio or SRTP, SIP phones, soft phones, and even voice over VPN and how VoIP may affect the security of calls. NICElong ago developed a skilled network design team with extensive telecom experience and as SIP and VoIP became increasingly popular that team has developed extensive knowledge and skill around the secure design and implementation of complex VoIP solutions as well as more traditional T1 and DS3 solutions. As I said, different technologies are just that, different! Each has strengths and benefits, each has limitations.
My message to you, is that if you have Questions, Questions, Questions about VoIP or traditional telecom solutions using T1 and TDM technologies, NICE has answers and solutions. We can design solutions using VoIP, TDM, compressed or non-compressed audio, mixtures of each and a variety of options to address security concerns. Our experience as a full service telecom provider as well as a leading SaaS service provider means that NICE brings the most complete package of offerings and solutions available. This adds up to a competitive advantage for our customers.