Last revised by Ali Farshchian,
Feb 18, 06 at 6:59 pm PDT |
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Voice over Internet Protocol (also called VoIP, IP Telephony, Internet telephony, and Digital Phone) is the routing of voice conversations over the Internet or any other IP-based network. The voice data flows over a general-purpose packet-switched network, instead of traditional dedicated, circuit-switched voice transmission lines.
Protocols used to carry voice signals over the IP network are commonly referred to as Voice over IP or VoIP protocols. They may be viewed as commercial realizations of the experimental Network Voice Protocol (1973) invented for the ARPANET. Voice over IP traffic might be deployed on any IP network, including ones lacking a connection to the rest of the Internet, for instance on a private building-wide LAN.
VoIP can facilitate tasks that may be more difficult to achieve using traditional phone networks:
- Incoming phone calls can be automatically routed to your VoIP phone, irrespective of where you are connected to the network. Take your VoIP phone with you on a trip, and anywhere you connect it to the Internet, you can receive your incoming calls.
- Call center agents using VoIP phones can work from anywhere with a sufficiently fast Internet connection.
- VoIP phones can integrate with other services available over the Internet, including video conversation, message or data file exchange in parallel with the conversation, audio conferencing, managing address books and passing information about whether others (e.g. friends or colleagues) are available online to interested parties.
VoIP technology still has a few shortcomings that have led some to believe that it is not ready for widespread deployment. However, many industry analysts predicted that 2005 was the “Year of Inflection,” where more IP PBX ports shipped than legacy digital PBX ports.
This text is licensed under the GNU Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article “VoIP".