VoIP is a revolutionary technology in the communication industry. VoIP which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol is a method of converting the voice signal from your telephone into digital signal that travels over the internet. VoIP sends voice data in packets using IP rather than traditional circuit transmissions. One of the well known VoIP provider is perhaps Vonage. Vonage is a commercial voice over IP network that provides telephone service using a broadband connection. Based in Edison, New Jersey, Vonage offers services to subscribers throughout the United States.
It expanded into Canada in April 2004, and into the United Kingdom in early 2005. Vonage offers unlimited calling to the US and Canada for a flat monthly fee, with other calls to the US and Canada being charged at the same domestic rate. Only two things are required for a VOIP call from a home. One is a broadband connection. The second is an Analog Telephone Adaptor (ATA), which plugs into a home phone. The ATA is needed so you can make broadband calls without having to turn on your computer and also for better quality than you will get with a headset connected to your computer.
Vonage uses a Cisco ATA to serve as a link between normal telephone and system router. User’s found it easy to install the Vonage hardware. Once you plug in the AC adapter, telephone cord, and Ethernet cable you are basically good to go. After Vonage reconfigures the ATA with your number, you can start making phone calls. There are two major reasons to use VoIP: lower cost and increased functionality.
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VoIP is less expensive because it routes telecom traffic over the internet instead of through the public switched telephone network as a result telecom costs on a per-call basis can be significantly lower. Even though there is a cost for internet service, using VOIP over this service may not involve any extra charges, so the users view the calls as free. With VoIP you can also get more features. Current VoIP service providers offer all-inclusive calling plans that provide consumers with unlimited local, regional and long distance flat rates at costs that are significantly cheaper than PSTN services. Additionally, VoIP services include features such as name and number caller ID, call forwarding, call blocking, and voice mail as standard features. Whereas, traditional phone companies typically charge premiums for these features.
According to CNet. com editor Neil Randall says voice quality is so good that it can easily replace a traditional phone line. While some providers only provide e-mail customer service, Vonage offers both online and phone support. Business and consumers are already taking advantage of the cost savings and new features however some larger companies are withdrawing away from VOIP because it costs too much to replace their telephone systems. Since large companies have a large capital investment they cannot afford to get rid of their old phone systems. However smaller companies have older analog based systems and are migrating to VOIP.
Despite the price advantage of VoIP and inter connectivity, there are a significant number of disadvantages and drawbacks that may discourage consumers and businesses from implementing a VoIP service. First, since VoIP depends upon your broadband connection, you lose phone service during power outages. Second, involves the 911 emergency services. Because call information is provided via an IP address, it makes it difficult to know the geographic location of an IP address. This is necessary in the case of emergency calls, although some providers are coming up with solutions. The FCC has implemented a system known as E 911 which is a more advanced version of the US emergency 911 system.
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E 911 provides additional location data over VoIP to emergency responders, including street address and the floor inside a building. VoIP Carriers have a deadline of October 2005 to implement all phases of e 911, including extended data from wired phones, and the location within 1000 feet, for cellphone users. The third disadvantage is the legal and security issues that have not yet been resolved and may discourage potential VoIP customers from embracing the technology. Because of these uncertainties, there also exists the potential for current call costs to increase dramatically over the next few years. The future of VoIP technology is looking very promising as new dimensions are being explored and enhancements offered to customers. Already VoIP technology has made advancements that are catching business owners’ interest.
It will still be at least a decade before communications companies can make the full switch over to VoIP. The future of VoIP technology will taking the next step that is going wireless. As with all emerging technologies, there are certain hurdles that have to be overcome.