Internet telephony brings unparalleled opportunities for organizations and individual when it comes to communication.
Internet telephony is rapidly turning into the alternative for excellence to the existing telephone services, forcing them to become obsolete in the sooner future. This service can help save money on long-distance charges. Customers can answer their phone anywhere and numbers are not tied to any geographic location.
It may have some few disadvantages, but these weigh not heavy enough to put their many benefits and features apart. Let’s see everything you can get from using this technology.
What is internet telephony
Internet telephony is a widely-used communication option that takes advantage of an internet connection to transmit voice, fax, SMS and other forms of information rather than traditional phone systems like the public switched telephone network (PSTN).
This service is also called IP telephony, VoIP, broadband telephony, and broadband phone service.
How internet telephony works
IP telephony uses internet protocols, which are referred to as VoIP, to communicate by digital means over the internet. All it takes is a computing device (a mobile phone, laptop or PC) and applications to start communicating more effectively.
When somebody makes a call or sends a text, for instance, this information travels in the form of data packets sent over the internet or a Local Area Network (LAN) to the receiver. Such data packets are then converted into a compatible form the receiving device may understand. The entire process is completed in fractions of a second.
What is the difference between IP telephony and VoIP?
Despite having different definitions, the terms “IP Telephony” and “VoIP” being used interchangeably can be accepted according to the contexts. The difference between them is so subtle, however, that they are commonly understood as the same.
Basically, VoIP is just a subset of IP telephony. Some people define IP telephony as the general concept enclosing all telephone-based telecommunications through internet protocols. On the other hand, VoIP is known as a means for voice transmission (protocols).
Internet telephony employs VoIP as a digital transport vehicle to convert phone calls analog signals into digital signals that can easily be transmitted over the internet.
Benefits of using IP telephony systems
- Significant cost savings on phone calls. This may be the main benefit of IP telephony. Costs reduction is due to not having to pay per minute (with even more expensive rates per international calls) but instead just a monthly fee to your internet provider. Analog phone lines are no longer needed.
- Scalability. No need to add another phone line in case you want to add a user, so just forget about the cost of an additional phone line.
- Portability. IP phone systems are not restricted by physical phone connections. Enjoy better mobility and connectivity by bringing together mobile and remote employees with worldwide accessible service.
- Versatility. Feature-rich VoIP phone systems enable users to do much more than phone calls. Information received can be transformed and reused (read out WhatsApp messages, voice mail to email transcription etc.). Different features can be set to receiving phone calls, like auto-attendant feature, caller ID or call waiting. It also integrates well with and can be easily extended by additional functions like conference calls, video conferencing and much more.
- Efficiency. As it is easy to integrate into businesses, productivity and is increased, while time and costs are reduced. Customer services are greatly enhanced when using IP telephony systems.
Cons and limitations of IP telephony
- Internet connection and electricity. As calls are made over the internet (instead of over traditional phone lines), if your internet connection goes down, so does the possibility to communicate. Also, unlike analog phones, the voice signal must be converted into digital information and prepared such that it meets the requirements of the transport protocol used (e. g. VoIP). These are the reasons why a continuous power supply and internet connection are a must.
- Communication quality. Video and voice signals require a certain bandwidth for good results. Some services require a minimum bandwidth to function at all, while for others the quality will be affected by a slow internet connection. A 24/7 internet connection is a must-have to enjoy a steady service.
- Not reliable for 911 service. As calls come from an IP address with no GPS data or cell tower information to track, it’s difficult for third parties to pinpoint where a call originates.