Your Essential Guide to Voice Over IP Telephone Service Print E-mail
The lightening-fast rise in popularity of cell phones has had a significant impact on the success of traditional "landline" telephone systems.  Now there is another new kid on the block that's threatening to take of chunk of the remaining piece of communications pie.

Voice over IP, commonly known as "VoIP ", is a means of sending voice communications over the Internet.  Unlike traditional landline telephone service, which uses copper wires to transmit conversations, VoIP technology uses optical wires.  These wires, traditionally used to transmit data or computer information, are now able to send vocal communications as well.  While this technology has been available for several years, the ease and accessibility has only recently been enhanced to the point that the average consumer can take advantage of it.

Benefits of Using VoIP Telephone Service

*  Huge Savings:  Countless consumers and businesses are switching to VoIP telephone service and realizing huge savings on their monthly phone bills.  The cost of VoIP is so much lower than traditional landline service, because the VoIP service provider saves on network operations costs and maintenance.  VoIP uses existing LAN or WAN equipment, cabling networks and set-up, so the requirements for new equipment are minimal.  In addition, using a single system for both voice and data transmission allows for simplified management and administration.  With reduced costs at the source, the VoIP carriers are able to pass along substantial savings to customers.

*  Speedy Service Implementation:  VoIP uses open, adaptable and simultaneous execution of PSTN-type services using IP-based protocols and technologies.  In English, it means your voice will transfer in an instant, just like your computer data.

How Does VoIP Telephone Service Work?

As you speak into your VoIP phone, the first step in the process of VoIP is digitization.  Unwanted voice signals are then compressed in two stages.  First, the system determines if the digitized info contains a legitimate voice or only ambient noise; any detected noises are then discarded.  Next, the system uses complex algorithms to decrease the size of the information being sent.  Noise is suppressed and codecs are used to optimize the voice streams.

One the voice has been compressed, it is separated into blocks called "packets", and VoIP protocols are simultaneously added.  Storage occurs during this process, as the transmitter waits for the voice data to be collected before being formed into a packet.  Signals are added to the packet to aid in the transmission.

IP is a set of rules that interconnects networks.  Therefore, the smaller the network, the more steps are required to interconnect them.  The addressing system has a tendency to be complicated.  It can require the interconnection of packets within packets, and may involve a series of processes as it moves through cyberspace.  

When the packet finally arrives, it will be placed through checks and proper sequencing.  The system then uses a decompression procedure to restore the data to its original structure, while time-related techniques ensure further sequencing.  The data can travel through the Internet via different routes, so it may not necessarily arrive in the same order as initially sent.  To correct the situation, incoming packets are momentarily stored until delayed packets arrive.  The period of time it will take for this momentary storage will depend on the individual network set-up.

Sometimes over IP networks, especially in periods of congestion, a percentage of the packets can be lost or delayed.  As well, some packets are discarded due to errors that occur during transmission. Lost, delayed, and damaged packets will result in a substantial deterioration of the voice quality.  Traditional error-correction techniques ensure that arriving chunks of data with errors are eliminated, and the receiving computer requests that the package be resent.  Thus, the message that is finally delivered to the user is exactly the same as it was when it was originally sent.  

Of course, VoIP don't want and will not tolerate delayed service.  Therefore, more sophisticated error detection and correction systems have been implemented to create sound to fill in the gaps. This process stores a portion of the incoming speaker's voice, and then uses a complex algorithm to copy the contents of the missing packets.  Thus, new sound information is created to enhance the communication and the sound heard at the receiving end.  In other words, what you hear may not be exactly what was initially transmitted, but rather an enhanced version of the original method.  

With the enhanced capabilities and surprising low cost of VoIP telephone service, countless consumers and businesses are making the switch.  If you want great service and big savings on your telephone bill, consider making the switch to VoIP.  After all, it's your call.

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