VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol)
What is VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol)?
The transmission of audio and multimedia content via an internet connection is known as VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol).
VoIP enables users to make voice calls from a computer, smartphone, other mobile devices, VoIP phones, and WebRTC-enabled browsers.
VoIP is a technology that is beneficial to both individuals and businesses since it often contains additional features not present in traditional phone systems.
Call recording, configurable caller ID, and voicemail to email are examples of such functionality. It is also beneficial to organizations in terms of unifying communications.
The technique is similar to that of a traditional phone, except that VoIP uses an internet connection rather than telephone company wiring.
VoIP is made possible by a collection of technologies and approaches used to transmit voice communications over the internet, such as, enterprise local area networks or wide area networks.
A VoIP service will convert a user’s voice from audio signals to digital data and then transfer that data over the internet.
If another user calls from a standard phone number, the signal is transformed back to a telephone signal before reaching that user.
VoIP can also route incoming and outgoing calls using existing telephone networks. However, certain VoIP services may only be accessible by computer or VoIP phone.
VoIP in unified communications
VoIP combines communication technologies into a single unified system, allowing for many audio, video, or text-based communication techniques.
This is especially important for organizations, as it eliminates the need for teams to use numerous programs to properly interact with one another.
VoIP establishes this network by allowing users to make calls and hold web conferences utilizing devices such as PCs, smartphones, and other mobile devices.
features might include the following:
- audio calls;
- video calls;
- instant messaging;
- team chats;
- text messaging;
- mobile and desktop apps; and
- mobile and local number portability (enables a subscriber to choose a new telephone carrier without needing a new number).
VoIP telephone equipment
There are two sorts of VoIP telephones: hardware-based and software-based.
A hardware-based VoIP phone resembles a regular hard-wired or cordless telephone and incorporates similar functionality such as a speaker or microphone,
a touchpad, and a caller ID display. VoIP phones can additionally include voicemail, call conference, and call transfer.
Software-based IP phones, often known as softphones, are software clients that are installed on a computer or mobile device.
The softphone user interface frequently resembles a telephone handset with a touchpad and caller ID display.
To make calls, a headset with a microphone attaches to the computer or mobile device. Users can also make calls using their computer or mobile device if it has a built-in microphone and speaker.
How does VoIP operate?
VoIP services convert a user’s voice from audio signals to digital data, which is subsequently transmitted to another user – or group of users – through Ethernet or Wi-Fi. VoIP will use codecs to accomplish this.
Codecs are a hardware or software-based method for compressing and decompressing massive volumes of VoIP data.
Although compression reduces bandwidth needs, it degrades voice quality. Equipment manufacturers will also utilize proprietary codecs.
Encapsulating audio into data packets, transferring the packets across an IP network, and unencapsulating the packets back into audio at the other end of the connection comprise the process of sending data to other users.
To provide acceptable speech quality, quality of service is often employed within enterprise or private networks to prioritize voice traffic over non-latency-sensitive applications.
A typical VoIP system also includes an IP private branch exchange (PBX) to manage user telephone numbers, devices, features, and clients; gateways to connect networks and
provide failover or local survivability in the event of a network outage; and session border controllers to provide security, call policy management, and network connections.
A VoIP system may also contain location-tracking databases for E911 (enhanced 911) call routing and management platforms.
This can collect call performance statistics for reactive and proactive voice quality control.
Protocols and standards
VoIP endpoints often employ either International Telecommunication Union (ITU) standard codecs or custom codecs:
- G.711 is the uncompressed packet transmission standard.
- G.729 is the compressed packet standard.
- The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is used to divide a message into smaller packets. Meanwhile, the IP handles packet transmission and delivery.
- The ITU T.38 protocol will send faxes in real time over a VoIP or IP network. This is commonly used in VoIP to facilitate non-voice communications.
- Once voice is wrapped onto IP, the Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) is employed.
• Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP) functions as an encrypted variation of RTP.
• Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a strict signaling standard that is most commonly used to signal the creation, maintenance, and termination of calls.
• H.248 protocol specifies a Gateway Control Protocol that defines a centralized framework for developing multimedia applications.
• H.323 is a signaling protocol used to regulate and manage phone calls.
• Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) is a protocol for maintaining contact lists, instant messaging, and presence information.
• Skinny is another Cisco-proprietary signaling standard.
Session Description Protocol is used for session initiation and notification in multimedia communications and WebSocket transports.
Benefits and Drawbacks
- Less expensive. The cost is less than that of ordinary phone bills.
- Improved audio quality. Uncompressed data produces less muted or fuzzy audio.
- Remote workers have access. Employees who work remotely benefit from a variety of choices for calling into meetings and communicating with coworkers.
- New features. Call recording, queuing, personalized caller ID, and voicemail to email are some of the capabilities available.
- Reasonably priced international rates. When a landline makes an international call, the call is routed through a wired connection.
- It does not require a wired line and makes calls via the internet, thus it is classified as normal traffic and is less expensive.
- Not all of these services may be linked directly to emergency services.
- It requires a high-speed internet connection.
- Services will be unavailable during power outages.
- Depending on the VoIP provider, there could be a shortage of directory assistance.