VOIP – Voice Over Internet Protocol

VoIP is an application, voice communications, routed over an enabling technology – and IP network. IP networks have become ubiquitous but at the same time remain transparent to users, the best example being the Internet.

In this respect IP network were initially and exclusively designed to carry data communications but technology has addressed the opportunity of converting voice communications in to data ‘packets’ and sending them over the same, single, IP network. Hence the term Voice over IP. In business applications a modern PBX will be able to offer VoIP functionality via a ‘gateway’ device. Some PBX systems are designed solely for use in IP applications; known as IP PBX, these systems deploy LAN Telephony as well as utilising VoIP.

Why have it?
If you can run voice and data communications over one network instead of two then costs should be reduced. As stated above, IP in an enabler. Therefore using VoIP would enable you to use new applications as well as speeding up existing applications. Remote workers or offices are a fine example of where VoIP can be both cost effective and highly functional. Connected from their home or branch office via an IP Telephone, personnel can be logged in and out of call centres, take and make calls with full PBX functionality as if they were sitting in the main office.

Other Considerations
Do not confuse with LAN Telephony or Voice over the Internet as these are different applications. LAN Telephony routes all calls internally over an IP local area network as well as externally over a raft of circuit options, which include digital private circuits as well as switched public circuits. routing a call initiated on the LAN requires quality of service (QOS) to be considered and often an upgrade to the LAN is required to ensure acceptable voice communications.