Voice Over Internet Protocol

Voice over Internet protocol takes a technological convention and optimizes that convention, in order to aid the transmission of information. By using voice over internet protocol (VoIP), businesses and even private homes can send messages over packet-switched networks. VoIP permits the use of regular phone networks for the completion of long distance calls, calls made through an internet service provider.

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By using VoIP, the person who is making those long distance calls manages to remain free of the obligation to pay a long distance charge, a charge that would otherwise be placed on the call by a phone company. The term VoIP has come to represent more than the convention that allows for the placement of low-cost long distance calls. “VoIP” now refers to the actual transmission of voice over a broadband connection.

The terms “IP telephony,” “Internet telephony,” “broadband telephony” and “broadband phone” all refer to the sort of transmission made possible by VoIP. The words “Skype” and “Vonage” illustrate the worldwide rush to embrace and make money from VoIP. For a full understanding of VoIP, one needs to become familiar with the specifics of packet switching.


Packet switching permits the sending of communications in the form of digital representations. Those digital representations can be “chunks” of text, sound or video. Each “chunk” is called a packet, and each packet gets sent along a shared network of cables. Each packet must be labeled with its final destination. In addition, each packet must receive a number.

During the transmission of such packets, it is not necessary to have a single path that has been set aside for the transmission of those packets. Each packet can be sent by any one of various different routes. After all the packets arrive at their final destination, then those packets can be placed in the proper order. In that way, their message can be reassembled. When a message is sent by packet switching, there is not delay in the transmission of that message.

IP Telephony

Delays in transmission had become an accepted part of the:”plain old telephone service” (POTS). With POTS, a single twisted wire had to handle the transmission of both signaling and audio information. The original POTS was meant to be used just for voice transmission. Yet technological developments have forced use of POTS for data communication as well.

POTS was not designed to handle the transmission of Telex, Fax and Internet communications. Packet switching facilitates the transmission of packets of data; it aids the transmission of Telex, Fax and Internet signals. That fact underscores the reason that VoIP has enjoyed a rapidly growing popularity. Society has witnessed a sudden disappearance of land lines. Public phones are vanishing. People are becoming more and more dependent on cell phones. While ideal for a mobile worker, a cell phone can not be used in all situations. It can not, for example, work in an emergency room.

Businesses can not rely solely on cell phones. Still, businesses welcome a low cost alternative to expensive land lines. That is why many businesses have chosen to invest in VoIP.