VoIP – More Than Just Voice?
VoIP is the digital signal routing of telephone calls via the internet allowing it to act like a gigantic phone line. VoIP calling thus requires one to have an internet connection in order to make these online calls.
One great advantage of VoIP is the ability to be location-independent. All you need is a router, an internet connection and you are good to go. Today’s VoIP technology is so advanced that you even get to choose a phone number registered to a state or city making routing calls and caller ID more real than before.
The consumer market has greatly benefited from VoIP calling. Full phone voice VoIP phone companies now offer unlimited domestic calling usually for a flat monthly fee and even free calling between subscribers who use the same subscriber.
These services come with a wide variety of features including fax lines, virtual phone numbers and toll-free numbers. In recent years, it has even been possible to offer text messaging service, a great milestone that proves that VoIP calling is not the only benefit of internet telephony and that we should expect to see more developments in the field.
VoIP emergency in the past posed a problem since it was not always possible to guarantee a connection. IP addresses tended to have static features and thus access to a local dispatch center limited this service.
However, because service providers are now able to display a caller’s address it makes it easy for a dispatcher to route emergency calls to a local emergency center. This service is called Enhanced 911 or E911 for short.
The corporate world has also seen the benefits of VoIP calling as well as the features that come with it. VoIP solutions aimed at businesses now offer faxes, voice mail, web conferencing and more, all delivered to any handset, even cellphones.
Since VoIP runs both voice and data over a single network, the infrastructure costs are greatly reduced. In addition, VoIP hardware runs on PCs and other standard interfaces making it even more affordable and easy to integrate. Simple and intuitive interfaces of VoIP devices also make it easy for users to configure the systems and make changes.
The trend is clearly toward VoIP calling and its associated features.