Voice Calling over Broadband (VoIP) | Summary
This article contains information about VoIP including how it works and what to consider before switching to it.
What is Voice Calling over Broadband?
Voice calling over broadband (VoIP) is the latest in phone line technology.
It replaces the old analogue voice signal with a digital signal which is transmitted over the internet. Voice calling over broadband is fast becoming the norm for landline calling throughout NZ.
We are upgrading all our landline customers to voice calling over broadband, so that you can enjoy more features as they become available.
Copper Network shutdown
The old copper PSTN network was set up over 30 years ago.
Spark provides this service to multiple phone companies in New Zealand and will be progressively shutting the network down by 2022.
What to consider before changing to VoIP?
Before moving to Voice Calling over Broadband, you should consider the following:
Monitored medical, home or office alarm
Call the company that monitors your alarm to find out if it relies on your phone line. If it does, they will very likely be able to work through a solution for you. If not, give us a call so we talk through next steps.
St John Medical Alarms
You can contact the St John Medical Alarm team on 0800 502 424 and let them know you are thinking about switching to voice over broadband - they will help you make changes to your medical alarm where it is needed.
In the event of a power cut
Voice calling over broadband won't work during power or broadband outages so you'd need to rely on the mobile network in case of emergency - this includes calls to 111 services.
If your mobile coverage needs a boost, please call us on 0800 891 740 (0800 888 257 for business calls) before you've upgraded to voice calling over broadband.
Your current phone will work but you may need an adaptor to make the end of the cable small enough to plug into your modem. We'll send you an adaptor just in case you need it.
If you have multiple phones connected to jack points around your home or office or you rely on a phone that's not next to your modem, we'll send you a new cordless phone with twin handsets. Call us on 0800 891 740 or (0800 888 257 for business) to get it before you're upgraded to voice calling over broadband.
If you have multiple phones connected to jack points around your home or office, we'll send you a new Panasonic cordless phone with twin handsets.
Call us on 0800 891 740 or (0800 888 257 for business) to get it before you're upgraded to voice calling over broadband.
If you need even more than two handsets, you can pair additional Panasonic DECT phones with it, which you can get from places like Noel Leeming, Harvey Norman or JB Hi-Fi.
Unfortunately this may not be supported by voice calling over broadband.
Most of our customers use email rather than fax but if you rely on using this service at home or in the office, give us a call on 0800 891 740 or (0800 888 257 for business) (0800 888 257 for business) so we can work this through with you.
Lift emergency phones
We recommend you call us on 0800 888 257 and do not switch to voice over broadband until you have contacted your Lift Service Provider and ensured the lift emergency phone is not reliant on a dial up phone line.
EFTPOS at home or in the office
If you use a dial up EFTPOS terminal, unfortunately this may not be supported by voice calling over broadband.
Contact your EFTPOS terminal provider who will be able to help you upgrade to one that can use broadband.
If you rely on using this service at home or in the office, give us a call on 0800 891 740 or (0800 888 257 for business) so we can work this through with you.
How to get VoIP?
To get Voice Calling over Broadband added to your existing broadband connection, please call us on 0800 891 740 or (0800 888 257 for business).
You should know
Upgrade day requirements
We'll take care of this for you either remotely or via a visit to your building (we'll let you know which one). Then you'll just need to plug your home or office phone into the back of your modem.
If your phone doesn't fit, you can attach the adaptor between your phone and the modem. We'll send you an adaptor just in case you need it.
Your current modem
If you already have a modem we supply, with the model numbers DN8245, HG659, HG556 or SHG1500, or a dark grey Ultra Hub modem, you can continue using these.
If you don't have one of these modems, call us on 0800 891 740 (or 0800 888 257 for business) and we'll send one out to you.
If you have a:
- Dark grey Ultra Hub modem, plug it into the left hand black port labelled Phone 1.
- White Wireless modem (HG659), plug it into the right hand green port labelled Phone 1.
- Older version of the white wireless modem (HG659), these green ports may be grey - just make sure you plug it into the port labelled Phone 1
As your phone needs to be plugged into your modem you may find it strange to have your phone in the same place.
If this is the case for you, we recommend you use a cordless phone with twin handsets so you can have one phone next to your modem and one where it's most suitable for you.
If you don't have one already, call us on 0800 891 740 or (0800 888 257 for business) before you're upgraded to voice calling over broadband and we'll send this out to you.
Line filters are no longer required as everything is now going through your broadband connection.
Your voice calls will use very little data (usually kilobytes rather than megabytes) and any data used will not come out of your data allowance.
Charges for those calls will be charged according to your calling plan.
VoIP effect on broadband speed
Voice calls use very little data (usually kilobytes rather than megabytes) and so have no noticeable effect on your broadband speed.
How do Phone Features work on VoIP?
Existing call features
If you have Voicemail, listen and note down any saved voicemail messages as these will be lost during the upgrade. If you have any special voicemail messages that you've saved and don't want to lose, call us on 0800 891 740 (or 0800 888 257 for business) before you're upgraded to voice calling over broadband and we'll send you a digital recording of it.
After you've been upgraded to voice calling over broadband you'll need to set up your new voicemail .
Calling features available for VOIP
Your phone service has a range of features available including voicemail, phone divert, Caller ID and call waiting.
Check out the complete list of available calling features for your Voice calling over broadband plan.