IP Telephony, according to the Wikipedia, is a methodology and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol or IP networks. The other terms of IP telephony in common use are Internet telephony, broadband telephony, broadband phone Service or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). The advancement of technology has brought many changes over the last century. Despite the invention of traditional forms of telecommunication, the search for a better alternative continued. Therefore comes the concept of IP Telephony.
As Technopedia defines, it is the use of IP-based networks to build, provide and access Voice, data or other forms of telephonic communications. IP Telephony enables traditional telephonic communication over the internet or any IP-based network. In Internet Protocol Telephony analogue audio signals convert to transmissible form of digital data. The internet service provider (ISP) or the telecommunication service provider can provide IP telephony directly. The challenge that IP telephony faces, is to deliver all its voice or other media packets to the user smoothly. IP Telephony has also created job as well as VoIP business opportunities for numerous people. Here you can read about How Mobile VoIP is one of the first choice for business in the sector of IP telephony: Mobile VoIP Business – A New Emerging Business For Young Entrepreneurs
The invention of telephone and later the internet or Internet Protocol forms the base of the concept of IP Telephony. The invention of internet in 1972 opened the way for information sharing between computer networks.
IP Telephony or VoIP starts in 1995 with a company named VocalTec. This company introduced the very first internet phone. At its initial stages, only audio was available. Two internet users can connect to each other only through voice calls. After 1998, IP telephony saw a steady development. Entrepreneurs saw VoIP industry as a chance to start something new. Around this time the integration of Internet Protocol telephony into public switched telephone network (PSTN) took place. By 2005, VoIP calls amounted to 25% of all voice calls. VoIP Service Providers help to provide VoIP Services all over the world. As multiple VoIP business options are available, the investment in VoIP industry are also increasing.
Internet protocol telephony is flexible and provides low cost international calls. The easily available internet through broadband Services also helped to increase the popularity of IP Telephony. The signalling protocols which facilitate IP Telephony are: H.323, H.248, SIP, MGCP and MEGACO.
It has multiple advantages over the traditional circuit based telephone network. The two of its most important advantages are: Cost Reduction and Mobility.
Reduced call charge is the main driving force behind the growing popularity of the IP Telephony. It costs much less to set up a packet-switched network (for Internet Protocol Telephony) than a circuit-switched network for PSTN. Internet protocol telephony requires only one network for transmitting both voice and data. Thus the use of one network instead of two reduced the production cost of the calls. Therefore, the end product for the consumer, that is, the call charge to any destination becomes minimal.
The second most important feature of IP telephony is mobility. It gives one the freedom to make and receive calls from anywhere in the world. The user’s only requirement is the internet connection. And in this 21st century, internet services are available almost everywhere in the form of Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, cellular internet services.
Apart from these 2 prime features, it has a vast range of other features. The other features of the internet telephony includes: – call forwarding, video conversation, call conference and many more. Most of these services of Internet protocol telephony are free of cost. However, if any services are chargeable, it is well within the range.
The terms IP Telephony and VoIP refer to the same technology. Often seen, people use these terms as synonyms of each other. The terms are also interchangeable at times as there are many similarities between the two.
Both VoIP and IP Telephony need internet for their functioning. They provide various means of communication through internet. The production cost for both VoIP and IP Telephony are low.
But there is also a subtle difference between Internet protocol telephony and VoIP. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Thus VoIP refers to “Voice” mainly. VoIP involves the process of making and receiving voice calls and routing it over a data network. IP Telephony on the other hand, includes all the communication functions over IP.
According to Search Unified Communications, Internet Protocol Telephony in reality is just a business term for VoIP. The design of Internet Telephony covers the whole internet. It connects to the data network rather than the normal phone network. IP Telephony presents itself as an alternative to the PSTN.
There is also a difference in the usage of these two terms. It associates itself to business telephony while VoIP is common in both consumer and business worlds.
IP Telephony is the product of technological advancements. With an aim of making communication better, easier and faster, IP Telephony brings people closer. With means to talk to a person on the other side of the world, IP Telephony is successful in helping numerous people.
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