voice over IP



Voice over IP (VoIP or "broadband calling" allows you to make telephone calls over your broadband internet connexion. The advantages of this are:

  1. Free calls to other VoIP subscribers

  2. Cheap national and international calling rates (as low as 1p/min to many international destinations)

  3. No long-term contracts

  4. Advanced features (call waiting, call forwarding, voicemail, etc.)

  5. A geographic number with the area code of your choice (e.g. 020 7 for London)

What equipment do I need?

VoIP only works over a broadband internet connexion (256 kbps or greater). The more bandwidth you have, the better. You will also need to have some way of getting the voice and audio into and out of the network -- the options are:

  1. Router with VoIP ports (we recommend the Draytek range, which we can supply); this will allow you to plug an ordinary corded or DECT cordless telephone into your broadband connexion

  2. Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA), for if you already have a router without VoIP ports and want to plug in an ordinary phone

  3. Soft client, which allows you to make calls from your PC using a headset or microphone and loudspeakers. We recommend X-Lite which is FREE, but has the disadvantage that you will need your computer turned on to make or receive calls, and the quality of the call will be affected by the speed of your computer.

What's the call quality like?

Call quality is dependent upon other network traffic. You can prioritize the traffic on your own LAN by using a router which supports QoS (Quality of Service). You can also send the voice call data to the Internet marked as high-priority, although most home-user ISPs will not support this and will treat the voice traffic in the same way as ordinary data. Generally call quality varies from indistinguishable from ordinary telephone calls, to mobile phone quality, but it is perfectly acceptable for business use.

How do I sign up?

You need to get an account with a SIP registrar. We recommend Draytel, who do pre-pay (PAYG) accounts with low calling rates, coupled with a service that works well in terms of administration and technically. There are other SIP providers whom, for example, provide free calls to UK landlines in return for a monthly fee. Some of these require a 12-month contract, whereas others do not. The SIP registrar's details will need to be configured in your VoIP device (router, ATA or softphone). This is not a trivial task, and we can assist if you are not comfortable doing this.

If you sign up for Draytel and enter our ID: 850339 in the referral box, you will get £2 of FREE calling credit.

Further information

Draytel's calling rates are here, and their feature list is here.

For hardware supply, installation and configuration contact us at voip@amilah.com

Please note that Voice over IP is not recommended for making emergency (999/112) calls. Many SIP registrars do not support emergency calls, and for those that do the call is dependent upon your internet connexion working and power being supplied to the router.

What is Voice over IP?

Voice over IP (VoIP or "broadband calling") allows you to make telephone calls over your broadband internet connexion, saving you money and offering superior call handling features