Many have heard of the term VoIP but are unaware of its capabilities. So exactly what is VoIP?
VoIP is the technology available in many modern telecommunications systems. It enables a firm to use their data network to carry voice traffic. The language that computers use to communicate over the Internet, is a term called VoIP. It stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. Voice over IP is a technology used for converting voice communications into digital packets for delivery over a data network. Most commonly, that data network is the Internet, but it could be any data network running the Internet Protocol, such as a business’s private data network.
What makes VoIP different, is that it relies on the Internet Protocol for these tasks, rather than the proprietary phone company protocols. Since it is based on a widely available technology, it can be made available to the general public more cheaply. Also, the nationwide building of broadband networks has made internet access available almost everywhere. This enables businesses to connect their locations to the internet, rather than building expensive private data networks. All of these factors have converged during the last decade to make VoIP an inexpensive option for most businesses.
How VoIP Works
We’re going to now discuss how VoIP works to connect phones and carry on a conversation. VoIP requires a device at each end of the conversation called a VoIP modem. This device can be a standalone part of the phone or part of a phone system always part of the conversation. The VoIP modem is the device that converts the analog signal to digital and back again. During the conversation, the modem takes the voice signal from the phone that is sending and converts it to digital packets. It transmits these digital packets over the internet address to the second modem. The second modem converts those packets back into an analog voice signal and sends it to the receiving phone.
The most common way that businesses can take advantage of VoIP, is through a technology called SIP trunking. SIP trunking is the application of voice over IP technology to provide connectivity to your phone system. You can purchase SIP trunks individually, in packs, or your preferred quantities. Since these trunks are based on the VoIP technology, they offer the same benefits and suffer from the same issues as other products giving you the voice connectivity over the Internet. A SIP trunk is provided by a VoIP provider over the Internet and the primary purpose is to complete calls to the public switched telephone network.
Advantages and Disadvantages
There are advantages and disadvantages to VoIP technology in terms of the benefits. SIP trunks can offer a lower cost of operation than the traditional phone services, because they can ride on the installed data network. SIP trunks can also offer some of the advantages of more advanced telecommunication company services. Such as the ability to have multiple phone numbers over a single trunk line and the ability to have a single connection handle multiple simultaneous calls. Additionally, SIP trunks can offer features that weren’t previously available. For instance, you can have phone numbers from California ringing on lines in New York, or anywhere for that matter.
In this manner, you can have long-distance calls operate like local calls and at a very inexpensive rate. SIP trunks usually come with advanced features like caller ID, call waiting, voicemail to email, and effects. They can be managed via a simple web interface. As with VOiP, SIP trunks can unfortunately be slightly less reliable than traditional services. Older analog phone services were built with tremendous redundancy, so that phone service would always be available even under extremely adverse conditions. More modern data networks were built to operate at a much lower cost, but with a slightly higher risk of failure. SIP trunks carry that same risk. For some businesses, that risk is acceptable. But for others, they may choose differently. It depends on the role of the voice communication and how it works for that particular business.