VoIP

The Voice Over Internet Protocol is considered as technology which allows for the successful transmission of a voice or any multimedia content over the Internet Protocol (IP) networks. It is a method that is used for taking analog audio signals and turning them into digital data which can be transmitted across networks. The data that will be sent may be in any form, such as voice communication, pictures, files, multimedia messages, or fax. Most often, VoIP is used for telephone calls that are almost free of charge.[1] Hence, through VoIP, people are able to talk to another person long-distance without having to pay for long distances fees or charges.

Functionality

VoIP works differently from a traditional phone call but it similarly to other forms of data that are transmitted over the internet. There is a conversion of the analog voice communication into data packets which are then sent over an IP network. VoIP uses codecs in order to encapsulate the data. It sends the message across and then removes the packets from encapsulation, converting them back into audio at the other end of the connection. This process eliminates the use of switched circuit networks for voice transfer. VoIP also reduces the network infrastructure costs by allowing the providers to deliver voice services over the user’s broadband and private networks. It also allows enterprises to operate with a single voice and data network.[2]

Furthermore, in order to fully use VoIP, the user needs a computer or network capable end device, an internet connection, and the VoIP software. The user also needs to have a microphone, analog telephone adapter, or the VoIP telephone. There are several VoIP programs that will allow a user to use a basic microphone and speaker setup. There are also others that will require VoIP phones that are just like a regular telephone handset but, typically, connect to the user’s computer through a USB interface connection. With analog telephone adapters, the user is able to use regular phones with a computer. The IP phones are also considered as other options that are able to connect directly to a router through Ethernet or even wirelessly. All of these phones have the necessary software for VoIP that are already built in and, therefore, do not require the use of a computer.[3]

Since VoIP runs over the IP network, all the user data will be stored in the cloud where the settings are easily accessible through a universal online dashboard, often called a VoIP app. With the help of this dashboard, user are able to access their data such as contacts, phone numbers, and information of the client. The dashboard also setups the new call settings and it adds new phone numbers whether the user is traveling or just in the office. Below are a few other highlighted functionalities of VoIP.

  • It takes an analog call and digitizes it. Then, it will send the call out over the internet.
  • Digital packets are reconverted into analog to complete calls to traditional phone customers.
  • VoIP calls can take place from computer to computer.
  • VoIP voice call quality can be much better than your traditional phone.

VoIP Calls

The following are the three common ways that a VoIP call is initiated:

IP Phones

IP specialized phones look just like any normal telephone with a handset, cradle, and buttons. These IP phones have RJ 45 Ethernet connector. They connect directly to the router of the user and have all the hardware and software necessary. These are right on board to handle the IP call. For IP phones, there is no process of conversion that has to be done because the process occurs right away and these directly connect either to the VoIP service or through a Wi-Fi connection.

Computer to computer

This is another type of VoIP call that does not need a traditional phone service in order to place the call, Skype is a really good example of this. With this, the call is being placed through software and the data packets will be transmitted through to the receiving end that the user is calling directly through the VoIP service’s servers. With this, there is no need to pay for long distance calls. All that a user needs is to have the software, microphone, speakers, sound card, and an internet connection; preferably a fast connection.

Analog Telephone Adaptor (ATA)

This is the simplest and most common type of VoIP call. This allows the user to connect a standard phone from the computer or internet connection for use with the VoIP. From the term "analog", it takes the analog signal from the traditional phone and it converts it into digital data packets that are ready for transmission over the internet.[4] Today, VoIP and Internet phones are starting to become the commonplace because of many cable TV providers that offer bundles including VoIP.[5]

History

VoIP started with just a company named VocalTec in1995. It pioneered the first widely available internet phone which was called the "Internet Phone". In 1996, the Internet voicemail application was brought into life. The users were able to send voicemails already over the internet to the destination phone. In 1998, the company created and provided computer-to-telephone and telephone-to-telephone calling capacities for the VoIP. In 2003, the number of VoIP calls leaped significantly up to 25% of all voice calls. Today, VoIP has become an integral part of the day-to-day lives of many people throughout the whole world.[6]

Common Issues

Concern Solution
Jitter Use of Jitter Buffers
Latency Setting Traffic Prioritization
Poor Internet Connection Improving internet bandwidth
Incapable Router Installing a specialized VoIP router
Improper configuration of Internal Network can be fixed by ensuring that there must be a VoIP capable router with proper configurations in place.

  1. https://www.techopedia.com/definition/5406/voice-over-internet-protocol-voip ↩︎

  2. https://searchunifiedcommunications.techtarget.com/definition/VoIP ↩︎

  3. https://techterms.com/definition/voip ↩︎

  4. https://computer.howstuffworks.com/ip-telephony.htm ↩︎

  5. https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/v/voip.htm ↩︎

  6. https://bebusinessed.com/history/voip-history/ ↩︎