Home Service Providers

With the introduction of electronic switching in 1960, telephone slowly went digital. The development of digital data communication such as internet, allowed digitizing data and transmitting it in real-time across networks. This system follows certain set of protocols like Internet Protocol (IP). For telephone, it is voice over internet protocol (VoIP). VoIP replaced almost all telephone networks. IP telephone uses high-bandwidth connection and special transmission equipment via internet.

VoIP

Voice over internet protocol is implemented in various ways through proprietary and standard protocols. H.323, MGCP, SIP, RTP, RTCP etc. are some of the protocols used today. H323 is one of the first used protocols that made its way in LAN services. However, new protocols like MGCP and SIP have replaced it. Today, Session Initiation Protocol SIP has wide spread implementation.
A VoIP phone is necessary to connect to this service. It is done in following ways:
1. VoIP phones connect to IP networks using Ethernet or Wi-Fi. This is the traditional way of connecting.
2. Sometimes they use analog telephone adapter. It connects network to conventional analog phone systems.
3. It uses electronics and firmware through a modular phone jack.
4. Softphone is most modern version, which is installed on a computer that has microphone and speaker set.
5. Software has tradition dial pad on the display, which can be controlled by simple keyboard and mouse.

Service Providers

Almost all telecommunication service providers have now switched to VoIP and they connect old telephone network to public IP networks. This is called IP backhaul. Today, with increasing use of smartphone VoIP is handy. All smartphone and Wi-Fi supporting devices have SIP built in its firmware.
There companies like Lingo, Ooma, Vonage etc. who are popular for providing VoIP services for home based customers. These companies provide services like voice, fax, SMS etc. through public internet. Early VoIP service providers offered business and technical solutions, which used similar telephone network technology. Second generation of service providers started providing services to private users like Skype. Sometimes they provide free call services and charge while accessing to other communication networks. Third generation of provider like GTalk has use federated VoIP.

Advantages of these services

Voice over Internet Protocols has large number of benefits over traditional PSTN.
Due to bandwidth efficiency, cost is lower. Business has seen 80 percent reduction in their expenses in phone communications.
VoIP solutions follow a business model, which provide unified communication services like calls, voice mails, emails, and video conference over web, and many more. There are two type of companies one who provider to large enterprise and other who provide service to small and medium range business phone services.
It supports both voice and data communication using same network, which reduces the infrastructure costs.
Unlike PBX and key systems, VoIP switches run on cost effective systems like computers.
With VoIP, customers get good interface system for their communications.

Quality of these services

Today IP networks are the most reliable services for communication than circuit switched networks, which was prone to mechanical errors. However, with IP services there no loss of data over network. It uses Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees to protect latency of data packets. Network router handles traffic over these networks. There is a chance of latency if traffic exceeds threshold for VoIP. But it is minimized by marking voice packets with method called DiffServ. VoIP usually wait for completion of transmission of previous packet before new is initiated.
Security for VoIP services is similar to those with the internet-based devices. VoIP uses firewalls for routing traffic, which is often challenge for a hacker. They also use network address translators to interconnect networks or the internet.

About The Author

Michelle Patterson is an avid technology blogger and writes extensively about IP/VoIP and Unified Communication. She works with some leading companies to understand the trends of these modern communication technologies.