What is VOIP IP Telephony?
VoIP, an acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol, is fast transforming the telecommunications industry. It refers to standards that enable voice-based calls over the internet (voip ip telephony), as opposed to using traditional circuit transmissions. In the past, the internet was used for the transfer of messages only, but with further advancements in technology and increased service quality, it is now possible to convey voice communications over the internet.
VOIP IP Telephony goes by several terms including voice over broadband, internet telephony, broadband, or telephony. VoIP technology converts voice into digital signals, compresses them, and then breaks them up into packets. The IP network delivers these packets.
What are the differences from traditional systems?
Quite a few characteristics distinguish VoIP technology from traditional PTSN communication systems. First, while PTSN uses circuit switching, VoIP IP Telephony uses packet switching instead. Secondly, PTSN, usually uses a dedicated path between the caller and the callee. It also reserves the bandwidth in advance. Which consequently affects the cost for PTSN, which is based on distance and time. Contrary to PTSN, with VoIP there is no dedicated path between the caller and the callee, and nor is there reserved bandwidth. Bandwidth for VoIP is acquired on-demand; which means distance and time do not impact the costs in any way.
How VoIP IP Telephony Works
In terms of the cross-tech functionality of VoIP IP Telephony, there is a process for analog voice calls to connect to VoIP calls. Analog calls must convert into digital packets of data. Encoding an analog signal into digital data uses codecs, short for encoder-decoder. Since voice signals contain a lot of data, compression is critical. Codecs ensure that data is compressed for faster transmission. They also ensure reliability and quality of the voice signals. Codecs protect signals from becoming compromised. When the encoded digital data reaches the destination, it returns to its original analog form. This enables the callee to hear and understand it.
There are two main paths that a VoIP IP Telephony call follows. If both the caller and the callee are using voice IP telephony, then the entire communication will take place over the internet. However, if the callee is using the traditional network, the call will travel as far as it can using VoIP, and then switches to the PTSN to reach its destination. When companies use a traditional phone to contact a callee using a VoIP service a similar process applies.
How to Use VoIP
There are several ways to use VoIP service. To begin with, VoIP can be used with a VoIP phone. Or if you have an analog phone, you can use an Analogue Telephone Device (ATA), which is an adapter that makes it possible for an analog phone to access VoIP IP Telephony service. VoIP service can also be used via a softphone. Softphones are programs that load VoIP service onto another device, such as a computer or tablet. Although it is possible to access a softphone through your mobile device, service providers often have an app available to handle the VoIP functions.
There are many reasons why VoIP IP Telephony calls are quickly surpassing traditional phone systems as the preferred means of communication. First, VoIP is more cost-effective, in the sense of the installation and the calling costs. VoIP reduces the amount of infrastructure required and the call rates are cheaper. Second, VoIP is easier to integrate voice, data, video, as well as fax, which is not usually the case with PTSN services. Lastly, many prefer VoIP for its flexibility and scalability. VoIP IP Telephony systems easily relocate and scale up (or down) as needed.