VoIP telephony is the process of using voice over internet protocol (IP) technology to place and make phone calls over IP networks, including the Internet, rather than the conventional public switched phone network. Unlike traditional phones, VoIP phones can transmit voice signals through the Internet as data packets. VoIP technology is used in applications ranging from telephony to file sharing to video conferencing.
A typical VoIP system consists of a communication gateway through which users connect to the internet. Users can then use their broadband Internet connection to make phone calls. The VoIP service providers usually own this communication gateway and it is called an Ethernet Carrier. In addition to these functions, VoIP phones also incorporate certain features like IVR systems, call conferencing, and call waiting.
Most providers allow long-distance calls through their networks. This feature has been especially useful for international calling and allows long-distance carriers to offer inexpensive calling rates to their customers. Internet telephony works by having each user connects to a network that is separate from the rest of the network.
Many VoIP services also have advanced session initiation protocol or SIP.
SIP is a mechanism that allows users to negotiate the rate of call transfer, along with the quality of the call. It also allows administrators to set parameters for the call handling and management. The SIP process uses the Internet to establish the parameters and to determine the quality of calls made and to establish session initiations. Some companies that offer VoIP phones include AT&T, Verizon, Cisco, D-Link, ShoreTel, Linksys, and Packet8.
Session initiation protocol also helps in managing and handling long-distance calls. With this feature, users can set parameters such as round-trip numbers, local number allocations, call waiting, and automatic redial. This feature is very useful for a businessperson who has multiple call centers and wants to control who is calling at what times. It allows IP addresses and ports to be set up within the private network of the businesspeople and so allow them to easily assign calls to employees and handle calls in a more efficient manner.
The other major advantage of VoIP Phones is the mobility of its services.
One can easily switch from the regular analog phones to the VoIP phones, even while traveling to different locations. There are many VoIP providers that offer their services worldwide. They use bandwidth-hungry high-speed internet connections instead of the slower and more expensive traditional phone lines. And they allow their clients to make voice calls from computers with internet-connected notebooks instead of using their laptops and portable devices that require internal telephone lines.
To use the Voice over Internet Protocol services, it is necessary that a broadband internet connection is available. Most VoIP services are available in high-speed broadband connections. For users who have VoIP phones and landlines, they can now use VoIP services by simply connecting these two communication tools using a USB cable or Wi-Fi connection. This gives them instant communication capabilities and improves their productivity. For businesses that use VoIP services, they can now cut their telecom budgets and spend more on their products and services. With the growing popularity of VoIP Phones, business owners now don’t have to stick to old telephone and telecommunication habits.
- The growing demand of VoIP Phones has made the competition even stiffer.
- VoIP service providers offer competitive rates, features and value added services.
- A user can easily find out which service provider can meet his needs the best.
- With the increasing competition among VoIP Phone providers, the consumer can also avail of discounted VoIP phones and plan deals.