Telecommunications Trends in VOIP Term Paper

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Telecommunications Trends in Voice over IPs

Voice over IP is a term that is often used in what is known as Internet Telephony, where a voice can be used to deliver the IP or the Internet Protocol. When it is used in Internet Telephony, it is generally a set of facilities that aid and control the use of IP with regard to Voice Information. It also means that the voice can now be sent in a digital format in discrete packets, and that it is now possible to do away with the traditional form of circuit-controlled protocols of the PSTN, or the Public Switched Telephone Network, and one of the most important advantages that the new Voice Over system has over the traditional type is that the tolls that are charged in a traditional telephone network can now be avoided. (Definitions of Voice over IP on the web)

The technology that the Voice Over IP system utilizes may either be the Internet as such, or it may be via a corporate intranet, or even through a managed network that is controlled by the ISP's or the local and long distance carriers. However, the issue of who is in charge of running the network is not all that important, as long as the primary purpose has been achieved, which is that of taking the voice or the 'analog' information, encoding this information into a digital format, and then converting it into a packet, after which the packet can be moved towards the intended destination, using a data network. Once they have reached their destination, then they can be reassembled and delivered in their original format. (Definitions of Voice over IP on the web)

What is important about the Voice over Internet Telephony or the VOIP technology is the fact that now telephone calls can be made using a broadband connection on the computer, instead of using the regular traditional telephone line. There are different types of services offered by the VOIP service givers; while some only allow the user to make calls to those who also have a VOIP facility, some others allow the user to make a Voice Over call to anybody who has a telephone number and a telephone connection, whether it is local or long distance, on a mobile phone, or even if it is an international call. There are also some services that only allow the user access to the facility if they have a broadband Internet connection on their computer, while some others offer the same service through the regular telephone with the help of an adaptor. (IP-Enabled Services: Voice over Internet Protocol)

What VOIP actually does is this: it will convert the voice signal form the telephone connection that is being used into a digital signal that will then travel over the Internet to its intended destination, after which the signal is then converted back at the other end, so that it will be possible to speak using this particular technology, with anyone who has a traditional and regular telephone number. At times, there is no need to use the telephone at all, the VOIP technology allows the user to make his call using the compute and the Internet, or on the computer using an adaptor on a regular phone, or with a traditional microphone. The user of this technology does not need any specialized equipment for making his calls; all he needs is a high speed broadband connection on his computer that links him to the Internet. Sometimes, the service provider may offer the VOIP service for free, when the need is for making calls to other providers to the same service. It is also possible that the service provider would allow the user to select an area code that is different form the area in which he lives, and this means that the caller would not be faced with a large telephone bill of long distance call charges' because he would have entered the same district code as his own, regardless of the actual geographical location of the intended call, and this means that all his calls would be local. (IP-Enabled Services: Voice over Internet Protocol)

The VOIP technology has innumerable advantages. One of them is that because VOIP is digital, it will offer certain services that may not be available on the traditional phone. In addition, because the caller will be using the Internet to make his calls, he will not need another additional telephone line just to be able to make his telephone calls; he may as well use the VOIP to make all his calls. The bets part of the VOIP technology is the fact that the user can now talk as long as he wants with his contacts, without worrying about the charges, provided the person at the other end has the required broadband Internet connection. In addition, the user can even talk to many people at one and the same time, without having to pay any additional charges. The computer can be used as well while the user talks on the VOIP enabled telephone.

However, the technology does have a few disadvantages too, and one of them is the fact that the VOIP facility will not work during power outages, and more often than not, the service provider will not provide the required backup for these outages. This means that if a person has decided to dispose of his traditional telephone in favor of the VOIP, he will have to wait for the power to be restored if he wants to make a call to anybody. Additionally, not all the VOIP services provide direct access to the 9-1-1 Emergency number, and when there is any type of emergency, this would be a major problem. Furthermore, there will not be Directory assistance or any other similar services for the user of VOIP telephony. (IP-Enabled Services: Voice over Internet Protocol)

What is the future of the Voice over Internet Protocol? A report from the Research Firm called 'In-Stat/MDR', in the United States of America alone, by the year 2007, the number of users of the VOIP technology would grow to more than five million subscribers, which is, in essence, a virtual five-fold increase in the figures from the year 2002. The market for the Internet Protocol-PBX market is slated to grow from the 100,000 lines that it has in the present, to more than 1.7million lines by the year 2007, according to a report from Forrester. (Covad releases White Paper on future of VOI) In recent times, the company 'Yahoo!' has managed to acquire Dialpad, and the integration processes of 'X ten Software' has created innumerable problems for the company because of the fact that both have shown an inordinate interest in owning the IP Communications End Point market, and it is quite obvious that Yahoo! assumes that it is moving on the right track. (The Future of VOIP)

Russell Shaw has stated that this will be a 'souped up Yahoo! Messenger with under-the-hood SIP-based PC-to-PC calling technology' that would be based on X ten's SDK. This, he says is not at all a good idea because it will have to compete with 'pure-play' VOIP providers like Vonage and PSTN. (IP Telephony) Telephones in the future will be either GSM or 802.11 capable, or both and both these would be able to switch over from VOIP to other cellular networks without a problem. The 'Insight Research Corp', a research firm, has stated, "worldwide revenues from Internet Technologies are expected to grow from about $13 billion in 2002, to nearly $197 billion in 2007." (The present and Future of VOIP)

Therefore, it can be safely said that the Voice Over Internet Telephony technology is not just a passing fad, but is here to stay and it will keep growing as a viable option that several companies may use in order to cut down on their costs incurred from telecommunications. Several large companies have started using the technology, like for example; the 'Stamford, Conn., Ernst, and Young' uses an IP telephone from Cisco Systems, one of several companies involved in the development of the VOIP technology, to connect about 4,300 employees in the New York offices of the Company, and more than 900 connections in Houston, and plans to install about 84,000 more connections in its offices all over the world very soon. (The present and Future of VOIP)

Several companies are vying with each other to acquire a share of the existing VOIP market, and some of the major and more important players are Bell Canada, Telus Corp., Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc., Navigata, Rogers Cable Inc., Shaw Communications Inc., and Vonage Computers. Although most of these companies are Canada based, some of them have worldwide relations, and when these companies show a keen interest in acquiring a share of the VOIP, then it bodes very well for the future of Voice Over Telephony. For example, Bell Canada has revealed that it wants to use the VOIP for its entire telecommunications both…[continue]

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