Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the transmission of voice communication via the Internet, instead of using legacy switching networks. Put simply, it allows non-phone portable devices like tablets and laptops to be used as phones in making voice calls.
How it Works
First, a channel needs to be set up so that a session can be established. Since the Internet uses digital data, the voice signals need to be encoded from analog to digital while sending and decoded back to analog at the receiving end. The coding equipment varies depending on the bandwidth of the network and the application requirements. This data is carried across in the form of IP packets.
Evolution of VoIP
The first generation of VoIP was very similar to traditional telephone business models. Skype is a popular example of a second generation VoIP model, where private users can make free calls to any part of the world, but limited to the Skype network. In the third generation, random interconnection of any pair of domains on the Internet is possible. This allows various combinations of third-party hardware and software. Google Talk is the best example of a third generation VoIP model.
VoIP can be applied to PBX (Private Branch Exchange) as an ideal communications solution for small businesses that do not want the overhead of renting an office space and PSTN lines. Known as hosted phone systems, the PBX switching hardware and software is hosted by the provider company. For the client, it is simply a virtual PBX over the Internet or any mobile device.
The existing phone number can continue to be used; alternatively, a new local toll-free or international number can be assigned for Internet-based calls. The pricing will depend on the number of extensions desired. The staff of the small business works from home, with each user configuring one or more VoIP extensions over the web. Incoming calls can be routed to any device specified in advance by the user. Advanced features like voice mails and caller ID are possible.
- VoIP allows people to use non-phone devices to make voice calls.
- VoIP can be used for hosted phone systems, providing high-quality voice sound.
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