Once upon a time, we all had handsets connected to the telephone network using copper wires. That is a thing of the past now, and not just because we are all equipped with cellphones. Rather, we can now use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to make calls, using a computer connected to the internet and a headset.
This is an advanced type of technology that takes your voice, transforms it into a digital signal, and sends it to the person you are speaking with. This means that you can use your computer, a proprietary VoIP telephone, or any device that is data driven, to make a call. Basically, it is a telephone that works through the internet. It is known under a variety of different names, including internet telephony, IP telephony, broadband phone service, and broadband telephony, although VoIP is the most widely used name.
How Does It Work?
This is a type of technology that makes it possible for a traditional telephone to work using a computer network. This is achieved through packet-switched protocols. Basically, a packet-switched system takes voice signals and put them into packets, best compared to an electronic envelope. This is then transmitted across any network that is compatible, such as the LAN (local area network).
The fact that it uses packets is of great importance. It basically means that it is possible to carry a huge amount of information across the network. Hence, it is good for businesses as it can support and even improve their communication.
Not only does it provide regular telephony voice services, it also comes with a wealth of other applications. This is of particular importance, because it means that you could render your organization more productive. Today, such solutions are full communication services that deal with things such as telephone calls, voice mail, faxes, web conferences, emails, and so on, using discrete individual units that can instantly be sent to a VoIP enabled device, including a cellphone.
Why Such Technology Is Useful:
If you have ever used a landline telephone, you will know that making a long distance call is incredibly expensive. So much so, in fact, that you will try to keep all conversations as short as possible so as not to get a sky-high phone bill. VoIP avoids this because it doesn’t matter where you as the caller or your call recipient are located. Hence, you no longer have to deal with telephone companies and their inflated charges, because you are using the internet instead.
Using This Technology:
Once you understand this particular type of technology, it is important to understand how to use it as well. The technology is so popular that it can be used by businesses and individuals alike. In fact, you are probably already using it in your personal life without even being aware of it. Many internet companies offer it as standard and the program Skype is essentially a form of VoIP.
Most telephone companies now use this technology, with businesses becoming more and more interested in it as well. As long as there is a broadband connection, you can use this technology, which is why it is also very popular with mobile workers. Traveling salesmen, for instance, who used to have incredibly expensive telephone bills because they would make regular long distance phone calls, have suddenly seen their profit margins increase massively. Busy executives can speak to their board members in Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and this country simultaneously without worrying about getting a thousand dollar phone bill. People can work in internet cafes, coffee shops, airport lounges, and anywhere else with an internet connection.
The world is becoming digital and it is becoming more accessible. Hence, it is no surprise that digital communication methods are found everywhere, including in homes and businesses. Demand for this is increasing significantly, particularly since the world seems to be getting smaller in as such that people have friends all over the world.
Do You Need This Technology?
The bottom line is that VoIP is highly advantageous to businesses. It can help reduce their communication budget because it generally includes free international and long distance calls. Additionally, it is possible to grow the IP telephony network without adding more lines. You only have to pay for internet access, which most businesses already have.
Of course, you are also under no obligation to make a 100% switch to VoIP and switch to all devices that are enabled to use this technology. Rather, good providers will be able to use the equipment you already have and turn that into an IP telephone. Indeed, it can even work on analog stations with the right hardware.
The Cost of VoIP:
If you currently have an analog landline, it is likely that switching to Internet telephony will save you quite a bit of money. Exactly how much it costs, however, varies depending on your particular needs. There are many different suppliers, each with their own rates, features, and benefits. Hence, it is important that you do your research and shop around for the best options.
When you start to shop around, you need to make sure that you take a close look at everything that comes with your plan. Different providers have a wealth of different features and you shouldn’t have to include any that you don’t actually need. Many of these features are also available with traditional telephony providers, but they tend to come at a significant additional cost, which is another benefit of switching to VoIP. Some of the services typically included are:
Voicemail, sometimes sent as email with the packets included
If you are currently considering your business or personal communication needs, then it is likely that you will at some point consider Internet telephony. It is even likely that it is the right solution for you. A good provider will be more than happy to answer any questions you may still have and to fully explain to you how you can make the switch without having to reinvest in a wealth of new hardware and equipment.