What is VoIP? VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol.
Voice over Internet Protocol aka VoIP is a category of hardware and software that enables people to use the Internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls by sending voice data in packets using IP rather than by traditional circuit transmissions of the PSTN.
Some advantages of VoIP
One advantage of VoIP is that the telephone calls over the Internet do not incur a surcharge beyond what the user is paying for Internet access.
Internet telephony isn’t a new technology — it’s been around for many years in one form or another, but only fairly recently has it become reliable and ubiquitous enough to be a serious choice for business. While Internet telephony was once an oddity often plagued for garbled and dropped calls, these days a well-planned and implemented system can provide call quality and reliability that rivals mobile phone or landline calls.
How VoIP Works
To understand how Voice over Internet Protocol, works, it’s helpful to compare it to how conventional phone calls operate. When you place a “regular” phone call using the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), also known as Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) you use what’s called circuit-switched telephony. This system works by setting up a dedicated channel (or circuit) between two points for the duration of the call. These telephony systems are based on copper wires carrying analog voice data over the dedicated circuits.
This is in contrast to newer Internet telephony networks based on digital technologies. Voice over internet protocol, in contrast to PSTN, uses what is called packet-switched telephony. Using this system, the voice information travels to its destination in countless individual network packets across the Internet. This type of communication presents special TCP/IP challenges because the Internet wasn’t really designed for the kind of real-time communication a phone call represents.
Individual packets may — and almost always do — take different paths to the same place. It’s not enough to simply get packets to their destination. They must arrive through a fairly narrow time window and be assembled in the correct order to be intelligible to the recipient. VoIP employs encoding schemes and compression technology to reduce the size of the voice packets so they can be transmitted more efficiently.
VoIP for Business?
Business service is the commercial-class version of residential services that provide small and medium-sized businesses with advanced features and functionality such as private branch exchange (PBX) capabilities, conference calling, desk-to-desk calling, music on hold and automated attendants.
While residential plans typically feature a flat-rate pricing structure and allow for only one call at a time, most business and enterprise VoIP providers offer tiered usage plans and support multiple simultaneous calls.
Are you interested in starting a VoIP phone system for your office? Call Businets Today! Or click to learn more about our VoIP Business Phone Systems.