What is VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows the making and receiving of voice calls using an Internet connection rather than using a regular (or analog) phone line. VoIP systems are often installed to enhance voice services in applications used such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and other web-based communications. Currently, as broadband connections are more universally available, VoIP runs on sophisticated networks and offer call routing, call centre management, and long-distance call placement.
How does it work?
Voice signals in traditional or legacy phone systems, based on an older, more expensive technology, are routed through copper wires with fixed electrical paths, connected to a phone company and a public switched telephone network (PSTN). Business phone systems with multiple lines utilise on-premise private branch exchanges (PBX) to route calls, a descendant of the central operator and switchboard models. By contrast, VoIP providers host PBX services in the cloud and voice calls are routed through a central data centre, increasing flow processing with any updates to the system occurring automatically.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) utilises Internet Protocol (IP) technology to route voice signals from one dedicated IP address to another. As broadband connection speed increases, data, including voice signals, are converted and recovered with greater efficiency, cutting down on choppy signals or dropped calls.
There are four ways to make VoIP calls: using an analogue telephone adapter (ATA), a VoIP phone, a Soft Phone Application on your mobile device or from computer to computer. Placing a VoIP call requires an Internet connection and software and hardware to access a VoIP system. VoIP numbers are specific to a user and are transferable from one location to another which makes it more mobile. Since each device has a VoIP number that is registered to the network’s IP address, a single VoIP number can be used on multiple devices, and a single device can receive calls for multiple VoIP numbers.
What are the advantages of VoIP?
A VoIP phone service is simpler and faster to deploy and is packed with advanced business features that are updated via software, not hardware changes. Replacing legacy telephone services with a VoIP network not only brings greater speed and reliability, but also enables a full suite of unified communications that operate on protocols related to IP telephony. Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) applications support a virtual office style integration of video, messaging, chat, screen sharing and web conferencing on one platform for remotely hosting online meetings and collaboration on a daily basis.
How much data does VoIP use?
Most users are unaware of how much data VoIP consumes e, or the rate at which they use it. VoIP data consumption ranges between 0.5 megabytes (MB) per minute of call (on the G.729 codec) and 1.3 MB/minute on G.711. This number fluctuates based on the technology employed by the VoIP provider as well as caller use habits.