Voipia Networks: Hosted PBX with some unusual twists.

Voipia Networks, headquartered in Northern California, was founded in 2004, and since that time, has grown into a firm that provides a wide range of telecommunications products and services, including voice, Internet, and equipment. The firm prides itself in offering a highly redundant voice solution that provides superior features and is easy to implement—and which is backed by an administrative portal that allows the system manager to view and manage all aspects of the company’s communication services.

Voipia offers service across the United States, including Hawaii, and specializes in serving start-up, small, and medium-size businesses.

Voipia provides a broad range of voice and data networking solutions to its business customers, including: dedicated IP PBX, hosted vPBX, the Voipia Front-End, voice trunks over Ethernet (VToE), dedicated Internet T-1 circuits, and toll-free telephone service.

Voipia offers a complete business phone system, which includes the complete PBX system hardware, a full voice/Internet T-1 circuit, 20 business extensions, and a receptionist phone and panel, for the all-inclusive price of $999.00 per month. There is a one-time setup/activation charge of $1,499.95. This dedicated system includes an auto attendant, time-of-day routing, multiple phone numbers, call hunt groups and voicemail accounts, a customizable Caller ID system, and provides unlimited local and long distance calling, including in the U.S. and Canada.

Voipia’s hosted PBX service, named vPBX, provides a business with voice a communication solution that is quick and easy to install, and has unlimited seats for end users. This service features multiple inbound line appearances, remote office connections that give a “one company” appearance, both local and remote telephone numbers, conference calling capabilities, as well as unlimited local and long distance calling. The vPBX services are sold in blocks of five accounts at a cost of $180.00 per month each.

The Voipia Front-End is designed for retail establishments and provides a way to handle many of the information request calls that consume a sales person’s time and attention. The system operates by first routing all inbound calls to the Voipia network, which deploys an auto attendant that has been customized for that business. Based on the customer’s requirements, callers are able to check on store hours, directions, current promotions, or leave requests for additional information. If the customer needs to speak with someone directly, their call is then transferred to the store. The cost for this service starts at $49.95 per month, plus a one-time setup charge of $99.00.

Voipia’s SIP trunking solution is named Voice Trunks over Ethernet, or VToE, and is designed for customers that wish to continue using their existing PBX hardware (either analog or IP-based) for the time being. Voipia provides a SIP trunk to the customer’s location, connecting to either an IP PBX digital interface, or an analog gateway, which allows for connections to both the Internet and PSTN via the Voipia network. This service gives customers the option of just sending Voipia their long distance calls, or completely replacing their current telephone providers by utilizing Voipia’s nationwide footprint and local phone number services.

Working in conjunction with their underlying carriers, Voipia also provides advanced routing techniques for VoIP calls that either originate or terminate at a customer’s location. This process, which the company calls voice optimization, provides near-toll quality calls over a single DSL or T-1 connection. The system operates by splitting the physical Internet connection into dynamic channels at the customer’s location, with the voice calls being given a higher priority over the data connections. The voice calls are then routed to and from the Voipia network, while the data connections are sent to the public Internet.

With its focus on start-up and small businesses, Voipia offers an interesting Voice Services Migration Program, which they claim is unique within the communications industry. With this program, the appropriate level Voipia voice service is installed and managed at the customer’s location, beginning with a hosted solution, then moving into a small IP PBX, then to a hybrid IP PBX and finally into a multi-site IP PBX. Starting with a minimum of five vPBX Hosted Business Lines, a customer participating in the Voice Migration Program has complete 24/7 management and support of their voice network, up to and including the replacement of the Voipia IP Phones should any trouble arise. When the customer’s business location reaches twenty or more vPBX Hosted Business Lines, the company provides one of their advanced ipPBX 210 servers to the customer’s location to keep a higher call quality and reduce the number of transfer and conference phone calls that have to leave the building under a hosted scenario.

Further information on the Voipia solutions can be found at www.voipia.net. Our next tutorial will continue our review of various service providers hosted voice solutions.

Author’s Biography
Mark A. Miller, P.E. is President of DigiNet Corporation®, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.

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