Please note that exisiting landline phone services are not being ‘switched off’ in nbn Sky Muster and nbn Fixed Wireless mapped areas.
However, there are a number of alternative voice technologies that you may use over your internet connection. They can provide a reliable alternative or back-up voice service and they are inexpensive.
VoIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol, or in simple terms, a telephone service that works over the Internet.
VoIP can be an exhausting topic. In a nutshell it is a relatively cheap and reliable way of voice communication and can work well over satellite and other internet connections. You may use a standard analogue phone handset, or a dedicated VoIP cordless phone system.
Your RSP may configure each nbn™ Sky Muster™ service with a dedicated 150Kbps channel exclusively for voice services. The increased VoIP channel bandwidth of Sky Muster™ provides much improved VoIP voice quality and clarity over the previous Interim Satellite. However please take into account the reliability of the Sky Muster service before choosing to replace your existing landline.
This small amount of dedicated bandwidth is termed Traffic Class 1 (or TC-1) and is afforded the highest priority. By way of contrast, internet services are allocated Traffic Class 4 (TC-4) or best effort delivery. This means that no matter how busy Sky Muster™ may be at any point in time, the VoIP call will always be delivered with full quality.
How much bandwidth is required and how much internet data will VoIP use?
The bandwidth required to make a VoIP call is dependent on the audio codec used by your provider and equipment.
The most common codec used in Australia is the G.729 codec. G.729 uses just over 13MB per hour receive and 13MB per hour transmit, or about 27MB of two-way data per hour during a call. A VoIP call using G.729 requires 31.2 Kbps for the receive path and 31.2 Kbps for the transmit path. The 150Kbps Sky Muster™ TC-1 channel can support up to four simultaneous G.729 voice calls.
A higher quality G.711a codec requires more bandwidth and will use around 80MB of two-way data per hour during a call. A G.711a VoIP call requires 87.2 Kbps for the receive path and 87.2 Kbps for the transmit path. The 150Kbps Sky Muster™ TC-1 channel can support one G.711a voice call.
VoIP data usage when calls are not active is negligible.
How much will the Sky Muster™ data cost to make VoIP calls?
Using the G.729 codec as an example, talking for 2 hours per day will consume 54MB per day. Over a month that will total 30 x 54MB or 1.6GB, for 60 Hours of ‘talk time’.
Checking the Sky Muster™ BIRRR plan guide, you will see that, 1GB of data typically costs around $1.00.
Note: 1 GB = 1,000MB. Typical 12/1 plans provide 40GB of peak time data per month for ~ $45.00.
Therefore, 1.6GB costs 1.6 x $1.00 = $1.60 per month.
How much will a VoIP plan cost per month?
A VoIP plan is typically $10 – $20 per month, depending on the inclusions.
VoIP call charges; which are generally economical, when compared to traditional phone call charges. Here is a typical VoIP call charge plan:
What is the cost of the VoIP hardware?
Most households already have a couple of cordless phones connected to their copper land line. You can re-use this phone system, by connecting it to a suitable VoIP router or router + ATA in lieu of the phone line.
Contact your RSP (or VSP) for the one off cost of providing the necessary VoIP hardware. Typically this cost is ~ $50-$150.
The diagram shows a Netcomm Wireless NF5 router as used by the provider SkyMesh. This VoIP WIFI router provides an analogue VoIP port for your phone or cordless phone, 4 x 10/100 LAN ports and a USB port.
- NetComm NF5 Wireless N Router with VoIP – $105.00 (SkyMesh VoIP hardware cost)
- Netcomm NF13ACV Wireless AC1200 with VoIP – $155.00 (SkyMesh VoiP hardware cost)
Can I keep the same Telephone number for my VoIP service?
You may port your current landline number to the VoIP service, or you can acquire a new local number for the VoIP service, should you wish to keep the landline. Or you could take all incoming calls on your landline and make outgoing calls via the cheaper VoIP service. There are many viable options.
Should I keep my current landline?
It is recommended for nbn™ Sky Muster™ and Fixed wireless users, who do not have access to a mobile service, that a basic land line connection is maintained, as emergency backup. BIRRR recommends using VOiP only as an additional voice service.
For SkyMuster there are three events that WILL cause a temporary loss of service and your VoIP connection will fail:
- Power failure, which can be overcome with a backup power source.
- Rain fade, for which there is no solution.
- Provider or back haul transmission failures and nbn Sky Muster outages.
It is important that both your landline and VoIP line accepts 000 calls.
Your RSP can guide you in the provisioning of a VoIP service on Sky Muster™. Experienced users may consider a 3rd party Voice Service Provider (VSP), however this avenue should only be explored should you require a more complex VoIP service or have business grade requirements.
It is suggested that you discuss VoIP requirements with your RSP and or your trusted technical advisor.
The BIRRR website Preparing for SkyMuster , provides an overview of VoIP on Sky Muster™.
You may use Skype for voice calls, with the Skype app installed on your smart phone or computer. You can call home and mobile numbers for a small cost.
You can use your mobile phone (if compatible) to make calls over your nbn Sky Muster. Check out the BIRRR Guide to WiFi Calling here
*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider, regarding your own connection issues. Prepared for BIRRR by John Kitchener 7/1/2016, updated 29/8/18