An IP Phone connects to the internet and enables you to place and receive calls over the internet rather than the traditional telephone (PSTN) line.
An IP Phone uses Internet Protocol or VoIP technology.
If your call centre is using cloud technology then you are using an IP phone.
To function, an IP phone is assigned an IP address of either the VoIP provider or the hosted PBX provider.
Types of IP Phones
In a call centre environment you will typically find two types:
Desk IP Phone
The call centre desk IP phone will essentially look like a ‘normal’ desk phone with a keypad, handset and the option to plug in an IP headset.
The fancier models can have a touchscreen interface as well as a camera built to enable video two-way video conferencing (which also uses the Internet Protocol).
Some call centres now use what’s called a softphone meaning there is no physical handset on your desk.
It works much the same way as a desktop IP phone except the phone controls are displayed on the user’s computer screen.
You then just plug an IP Headset into your computer, usually by the USB port.
IP Phone connections
IP phones can be connected using multiple methods:
- PoE (Power over the Ethernet) means that you can power the phone over the same line that connects it to the internet which can make installation easier, especially where there is no nearby power socket.
- Many of the higher end phones will have Bluetooth connectivity so you can easily connect your Bluetooth headset. Some phone may not have this built-in, however, you can purchase an additional dongle to provide Bluetooth.
- Ethernet Pass-through will enable you to connect a computer down-stream from your phone. So only one cable comes from your router which connects to your phone, and then you run a cable from your phone to your computer.
- Where it is difficult to get an ethernet cable to your phone, some IP phones will also enable you to connect wirelessly.
If you’d like to find suppliers of IP Phones who specialise in call centres you will find them in our Business Directory.