Voice-Over-Internet Protocol Primer
If you haven't already heard about voice-over-Internet protocol (also called VOIP, Internet phone, or voice over IP), you will soon. That's because it's the next step in the evolution of phone service.
The first phone service was analog – and most fax services still are. The voice signals are electrically modulated and sent over a pair of copper wires (often called "twisted pair").
The next evolution in phone service was from analog to digital. The voice signals are converted into "bits and bytes" and transferred over the pair of wires at high speeds. Digital improved on analog by reducing extraneous "noise" for clearer voice quality. Digital is also a more efficient mode of communication; more voice circuits can be added to each wire pair. Other digital services can also be added to the voice signals, such as call waiting, caller ID, and other services most phone users take for granted today.
VOIP is the next evolution in voice communications. The digital voice signals are sent as packets of data – the same way that your computer sends or downloads a file over the Internet. Because of the way the signals are organized and sent over the network medium, VOIP is a highly efficient use of the available bandwidth, vastly increasing the number of voice circuits. And because the voice signal is sent and received like a file, it can be saved and used by other electronic devices, giving VOIP subscribers access to services beyond the reach of ordinary digital telephony.
VOIP for Business
Businesses of all sizes are taking advantage of VOIP today, but small businesses in particular have a great deal to gain from this technology, which makes formerly expensive features – such as multiple employee extensions, automated attendants, integrated email and voice messages – affordable to small businesses.
Businesses also choose VOIP to save on long-distance phone charges. Businesses in different locations – even around the world – can place calls to one another over the Internet, thereby avoiding long-distance charges incurred when placing the same call over traditional "copper" phone networks. Many businesses today take advantage of this between various office locations, and between other businesses also using VOIP.
In addition to the cost savings, bringing voice and data together on one network simplifies a business's communications infrastructure while expanding its access to services. Unified e-mail and voicemail messaging and dialing calls by clicking a name on a computer contact list are two of the most popular services that VOIP puts within reach of small businesses.
Versature makes these benefits even more accessible to businesses of 1-100 users, because we offer our business communications platform as a hosted service. That means you don't have to purchase, install or maintain the network infrastructure that VOIP runs on. You simply subscribe to the service, plug in the phones, and run your business.
To learn more about VOIP and about Versature's Hosted PBX service, read these frequently asked questions.