Voice over Internet Protocol abbreviates to VoIP and is the generic name used for making and receiving telephone calls over IP networks.
An example of an IP network would be the Local Area Network (ie LAN) that connects together the computers and other devices in your office or home.
Another example of an IP network would be a Wide Area Network (ie WAN) such as the public internet.
The main function of a VoIP device is to convert analogue speech and dialling signals into the type of digital signal that can be transmitted over IP networks.
NB The digital signals used by ISDN phones and TDM phone systems are different from the digital signals used in IP networks. The former are based on circuit switching and the latter are based on packet switching.
The advantage of VoIP is that it enables telephone communications to be integrated with data communications so that both can be transmitted together within local area data networks and across the global internet.
This is beneficial since sharing a common telecommunications infrastructure (eg cables, network switches, routers and internet connections) is more efficient and cost effective than having separate network infrastructures for telephone and data communications.
There are two types of VoIP device: phones and gateways.
A VoIP phone is an integrated device that incorporates a handset and a keypad and connects directly to an IP ethernet network.
VoIP phones can be corded or cordless devices. They can also exist as software on a computer or as an application (ie an App) on a mobile smart-phone.
Software based VoIP phones are usually referred to as soft-phones.
A VoIP gateway enables connection of a non-VoIP device (eg a traditional phone or PBX phone system) to an IP network by converting the signals produced by analogue, ISDN or GSM devices into VoIP signals.
Get in touch with us if you have a specific requirement or if you wish to discuss how your business could make better and more cost-effective use of its existing telecommunications and internet infrastructure and services.