Since the birth of the internet, entrepreneurs with the eye to the future have predicted that voice communications — telephone services — would eventually be merged with internet services. Using the widespread adoption of VoIP, that day has come, and it is causing a revolution in the telephone industry.
In simple terms, a VoIP service allows you to use your broadband (high-speed) connection to place telephone calls over the Internet. It is not difficult to see how this really is rocking the telecom industry towards the core.
It’s all about cost
2 things have made traditional telephone providers so powerful. Their monopoly more than local telephone services, and their particular traditional stranglehold on lucrative and usually over-priced “long distance” solutions. Both of these captive markets have been significantly eroded over the last few years, as the reality of VoIP has started to kitchen sink in.
In anticipation of the trend that is now upon us, the majority of aspects of telephone service have steadily been opened up to competition. Many of us now have a choice of providers for each local and long distance telephone support. And the biggest reason for the new competitive environment is the recognition that the wide-spread adoption of VoIP is inevitable.
The development of VoIP
VoIP has been creating slowly over the last ten years or so. Early implementations allowed computer users to talk to one another through their computers. This was just feasible if you had a voice-enabled pc, a reliable and stable internet connection, and also a software program installed on your computer that made it all work.
The advantage of this computer-to-computer communication was that you could completely bypass the traditional telephone system and speak with anyone in the world free of charge — as long as they had a similar setup to yours. But the disadvantages of communicating in this way were also obvious. You could just communicate this way using your computer. You were completely dependent on often unstable dial-up internet connections. And the person at the various other end of the conversation had to also be “online” with a voice-enabled computer.
Present VoIP has solved these troubles
Today’s versions of VoIP have remaining these problems in the past. Two points were required to make VoIP technologies feasible on a large scale base, and both of these things have now been realized.
First, broadband internet service continues to be widely adopted. This makes it possible to possess stable internet connections that are “always on”. Second, the industry has developed a simple, affordable method of integrating the IP network (the internet) with the traditional telephone system. This allows an user of VoIP to use his or her own telephone to call anyone else in the world who has a traditional telephone connection.
This is where we are these days.
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As traditional telecom companies like AT&T, Bell, Qwest, and SBC develop their own implementations of VoIP technology the way has been opened up for the myriad of choices for consumers. Today’s VoIP allows anyone with a broadband internet link with place calls to anyone with a typical telephone connection, anywhere in the world.
Why you save money with VoIP
The major advantages of VoIP are lower cost, and greater versatility with no significant decrease in voice high quality.
First, a VoIP subscriber doesn’t have a traditional phone line. Instead, you might be assigned a phone number by your VoIP company. Prices for these numbers can be as low as $9 usd per month.
Second, most VoIP subscribers will buy a “bundle” of services that includes limitless incoming calls and unlimited long-distance calls to anyone within a defined geographic area. For instance, VoIP limitless calling plans to anyone in the united states or Canada start at around $20 per month.
Third, most VoIP service providers offer free bundled features that most traditional telephone companies charge to get. These include free voicemail, call forwarding, caller ID, call waiting, call waiting ID, 3 way calling, speed calling, and many more of the services that the traditional companies are constantly trying to sell you.
Better flexibility and portability
Another significant advantage is the flexibility and moveability of VoIP phone service. With VoIP your personal telephone number is programmed into the converter that acts as a bridge between your internet connection and your regular telephone.
It has several important advantages. As already mentioned you do not need an actual land line. Instead your telephone number is assigned to your converter (not to your geographic land line). So you can take your converter with you all over the world, plug it into any obtainable broadband connection, and immediately begin using your regular number to make and receive calls.
This flexibility furthermore lets you choose a number in an region code where most of your long distance calls originate. For instance, if a lot of your friends, family, business associates or clients are calling from a specific town that traditionally involved a long distance call for them, you could choose an amount in that area code and instantly turn all their calls to you in to local (free) calls for them.
The benefits of VoIP are many, and the savings can be extremely significant. So it is no wonder that VoIP has become the hottest telecom technology from the decade. Informed consumers and companies around the world are adopting this technology at a phenomenal rate.