It seems like technology is headed for a massive telephone
change over. The traditional Public Switched Telephone Network
(PSTN) is looking to be replaced by VoIP. VoIP is short for
Voice over IP. VoIP is the routing of conversations over an IP
network or the Internet. VoIP uses a packet-switched network
instead of the circuit-switched voice transmission lines used by
traditional telephone networks. VoIP does not need an Internet
connection to work. A company that has a LAN connection with all
of its computers can utilize VoIP technology.
VoIP is a great technology, but has a variety of issues with
implementation. VoIP may face problems with latency because IPs
do not provide Quality of Service guarantees, nor do they
provide their packets of information in sequential order.
High-speed Internet connections are required for VoIP and
firewalls often prove tricky for VoIP technology. To combat
this, many people use Session Border Controllers (SBC).
VoIP technology has many advantages. There are more new features
with VoIP because of the lack of an International
Telecommunications Union. VoIP is still very much an open market
for developers, so the technology is constantly being improved.
VoIP also has a lower cost than traditional sources because of
the monopolies that exist or traditional phone companies being
controlled by the government. Some users even see VoIP phone
calls as free because they do not have to pay extra for the
service. The user only pays the Internet service provider, and
therefore the usage of VoIP seems to be free. You can also take
your VoIP phone wherever you go because all you need is a
network connection to make it work. VoIP technology will also
benefit network agents who work for call centers. Agents can
help callers from anywhere in the country with an Internet
connection. Finally, because VoIP is on the computer, there is
increased functionality. Conference calls can be held,
information can be sent, and things like address books can be
updated and shared over VoIP.
While VoIP has many advantages, there are a few drawbacks to the
service. One of the biggest drawbacks is reliability. Telephone
lines have back up generators in case of power outages, so
phones can keep working. Because VoIP is connected to the
Internet, a power outage will end a VoIP call when the computer
shuts down. To combat this, users must buy an expensive
uninterruptible power supply or a generator that must then be
installed on the premises. Internet connections are also subject
to disconnection, depending on crowded networks, and the quality
of the ISP. If the Internet connection drops, then the VoIP call
will be dropped. VoIP is also a problem for emergency calls.
Because of the nature of the Internet and VoIP systems,
emergency workers cannot trace calls. In the event that someone
with an emergency has a problem but is unable to give an
address, the emergency worker will not be able to trace the call
and find the person. VoIP carriers are already attempting to fix
this problem by implementing a technical work-around. Finally,
it will be very difficult to integrate VoIP on a massive scale,
because while the standard Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) has
a common standard, VoIP does not.
VoIP has many advantages as well as some large drawbacks. The
main roadblock in the way of global VoIP adoption is
reliability. When VoIP proves that it can be just as reliable as
traditional telephone services have been over many years, then
it will start to be adopted. VoIP technology is always
improving, so the problems with VoIP today are likely to be
solved sooner than many people expect. VoIP can truly
revolutionize both the business world and home life.

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