Voice over Internet Protocol, or simply VoIP, is a system and application for the transfer of voice and multimedia sessions over the Internet, including the Internet itself. VoIP services use broadband Internet connections. Some VoIP service providers to offer hosted VoIP services. The VoIP service providers use the transmission of IP packets to substitute traditional phone lines.
In general, VoIP services can be classified into three categories based on the method of connection: General VoIP, Specialized VoIP, and Universal VoIP. General VoIP is the common term used for all services provided by the major VoIP service providers in the US. With this service, the user simply dials a telephone number to make a call. Unlike a traditional phone line, VoIP uses the internet connection for calls using VoIP software. General VoIP services may include traffic information services, conference calling, white pages, e-mails, instant messaging, video conferencing, and other specialized features.
Specific VoIP services are provided for specific purposes.
For example, an individual needs to use a special VoIP phone, if he or she desires to make international VoIP calls. VoIP applications and software have different interfaces that have to be used to make calls using them. This requirement led to the development of specialized and unique VoIP phones that have their own unique designs and functions. Some examples of specialized voip phones are the International Telephone Access Set (IOTS) from AT&T and the Cisco Phone System (PCS).
Specialized VoIP services refer to those offerings which are offered to specific industries, departments, or locations. It is not uncommon to find banks or other financial institutions offering special voice services to their customers. This is because banks tend to transact large amounts of money that requires secure access to the internet. In order to serve their customers well, they tend to go in for dedicated systems that are capable of facilitating secure VoIP telephony at the same rates as a regular telephone. This is an important feature that is offered by many VoIP service providers. The advantage is that users do not have to change their regular telephone system to use this special phone.
Apart from financial institutions, there are other businesses that tend to go in for VoIP services.
They may go in for a dedicated system when they are looking forward to offering VoIP conference calling, or even if they need a set up that allows them to track all the calls that have been made and received. Other businesses that make VoIP calls over the regular telephone may do so in conjunction with a VoIP provider. This will enable them to have an automated accounting system, or a single place where all the call details are recorded.
Businesses that have a large number of employees and who travel a lot may find it beneficial to avail of some of the VoIP services that enable them to make VoIP calls using a regular telephone. This means that all the calls made using a normal telephone would go through a dedicated system and this would be picked up by the IP address of the person using the VoIP. The calls would then be routed to the correct destination. This has many advantages and is especially popular in call centers. These companies often operate using dedicated lines and when this facility is offered by their VoIP provider, it enables them to handle a large number of calls using these lines at the same time.
One of the main reasons why there is a huge demand for VoIP services is because people are reluctant to change over to a new technology that has so many advantages. People are wary of changing to something like VoIP that entails the need for an entirely new set of hardware and software. Many businesses also hesitate to change over as they believe that a substantial change over to this new technology will be quite expensive and will require a lot of extra effort on their part. For instance, if a business operates from one location and if it wants to service other areas, then it needs to employ more staff and the costs can quickly add up. Switching over to a new service provider may also mean additional expenditures as the VoIP services provider may charge you for using their network.
In addition to this, even if the VoIP service provider provides a special VoIP phone with a higher price, it does not necessarily mean that you will have to buy a new telephone.
- You can simply use your regular telephone with the special VoIP phone and this will enable you to continue to make local, STD or ISD calls.
- However, the VoIP service provider may insist on using a special adapter that has to be bought separately and this device might not fit into your hand easily.
- In such cases, you will have to use a regular telephone in order to carry on making local calls and the special telephone will have to be bought again.