What are concurrent calls?
If you talk to our sales team or our support team, you might here us mention "concurrent calls". For example, we might ask you how many concurrent calls you are trying to make
Concurrent calls are easily defined as how many people are using the phone at any one time. It isn't simply how many people are working in your office, because not all of them are likely to be on the phone at once (unless you are operating a call centre type environment).
Therefore your expected number of concurrent calls depends very much on the type of operation you running, and is different for every customer.
Why are concurrent calls important?
Concurrent calls are important in two ways.
The first way is because it can help you decide if you will have enough bandwidth to handle your calls. Each call you make uses part of your Internet connection (by default 160Kb per second). Therefore you need to ensure that you have enough spare bandwidth available for each call. This is complicated by the fact that if you use your Internet connection for web browsing as well then some of your available bandwidth will be used for this too. Therefore you should always take this into account.
If you run out of bandwidth whilst attempting to make a VoIP call, you may find that the call cuts out.
The second way is because it helps you decide how many VoIP packages you need to purchase. A Multi User VoIP package and an inbound Enterprise VoIP trunk are both designed to handle two concurrent inbound calls.
Multi User VoIP example
If you were purchasing a Multi User VoIP package and expected three of your staff to be on the phone at any one time having received a call, you would need to purchase two packages.
If two members of staff are on inbound calls and one member of staff is on an outbound call at the same time, then only one package is required as an outbound call is not classed as a "concurrent" call. You can make as many outgoing calls using your Multi-User package as you like, or at least as much as your internet bandwidth will allow.
When you use the Gradwell control panel to set your phone system up it would appear as one service. Therefore the setup is no different to if you'd purchased just one package.
Inbound Enterprise VoIP trunk example
If you were purchasing an inbound trunk and calculated that six of your staff would take incoming calls at the same time, you would need to purchase three packages.
Each package includes a phone number, but if you only want to use a single number you can easily point them to the same SIP URI.