What is VoIP? VOIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is a technique for internet calling which converts audio signals which are analog in nature, like the ones you can hear over any electrically powered speaker, into digital signals which comprise of discrete packets which are transmitted to and fro through the internet. VoIP […]
What is VoIP?
VOIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is a technique for internet calling which converts audio signals which are analog in nature, like the ones you can hear over any electrically powered speaker, into digital signals which comprise of discrete packets which are transmitted to and fro through the internet. VoIP is and will continue to be a revolutionary technology because it entirely bypasses the need for a traditional mobile network for peer to peer communication. This, coupled with the huge list of extra functionalities that can be easily added on to VoIP makes VoIP a much cheaper and easier to use option for consumers.
How does VoIP work?
To understand how VoIP works and how internet calling is more efficient, we must first understand how a traditional phone line works.
Traditional phone systems depend on a technology called circuit switching. This technology has been in use for over 100 years. How it basically works is that when a call is made, a connection is established between the two parties and the connection is maintained throughout for the entirety of the call. This connection is called a circuit since it is made between two separate entities with signals being transferred in both directions. This system is called the Public Switched Telephone Network(PSTN). To understand this better, let us split up the process of making a call into the following steps:
- Picking up the receiver and listening for a dial tone, which indicates that your line is connected to your telephone carrier’s local office.
- Dialling the number you wish to call. When this happens, your call is directed through a switch at the local carrier’s office,and a subsequent connection is made between you and the receiver through a series of interconnected switched along the way.
- Once the connection is established, the phone at the receivers end rings,and the receiver picks it up. Once this happens, the circuit is opened,and a conversation ensues after which both parties close the connection by hanging up. Once both parties hang up, the line is free and can be used again for other calls.
The thing about circuit switching is that the circuit is continuously open throughout the entirety of your conversation. At either end of the line, your voice is converted into a digital signal and transmitted at a fixed transmission rate of about 64 kilobytes per second (Kbps) in either direction over a fiber optic cable. That makes for a combined transmission rate of about 128 Kbps. So, if you consider that in kilobytes (KBs), that makes for 16KB of data getting transmitted every second, 960 KBs for every minute and so on. The problem with this system is that most of this data is wasted due to pauses in conversation and the fact that only one person speaks at a time and hence only half of the data contains a voice at a time. So, essentially about half of the total data is being wasted.
This is where VoIP is more efficient. It uses a technology called Packet Switching. This is the same technology used by all data networks. In Packet Switching, a constant connection is never maintained,and data is sent and received as and when they are needed. The data is split up into clusters or “packets” which flow to and fro in the network without having to use a dedicated line. This makes it very efficient since it allows the network to direct the data packets along the cheapest and least congested lines. It also frees up a lot of VoIPlineswhich would have otherwise been in use if circuit switching was used.
Similarly, in VoIP, since one person is talking and the other is listening all the time, only the half of the data that includes the talking part is transmitted effectively bringing down the required data bandwidth to half. Thus, a data packet is sent through a VOIP line only if it includes a digitized audio signal, thus eliminating the data required to transmit random silences and that of the person listening.
Advantages of VoIP over PSTN
VoIP has a lot of advantages over PSTN. As we have seen above, VoIP takes up less than half the data required for PSTN thus making it much cheaper to make a call. The amount of data required reduces even further if we add data compression to the mix, making VoIP a much more efficient form of communication when compared to traditional phone networks. Another advantage of VoIP is that calls can be made even without a mobile network connection, as long as the consumer is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi or any other means.
Kirusa’aInstaVoice service gives you all the advantages that come with using VoIP and much more. InstaVoice’sReachMe service supports GSM to VoIP call conversions which let customers stay connected at all times regardless of network availability. Customers can also link multiple numbers across carriers and countries to their accounts, making worrying about roaming a thing of the past since Kirusa has tie-ups with multiple-carriers in various counties across the globe.
In addition to the services like GSM to VoIP calling provided under the reach service, InstaVoice also allows customers to receive and send missed calls and voicemails over data. The excellent InstaVoice app contains a beautiful chat UI where customers can receive or send texts and voicemails seamlessly. And since it’s connected to the cloud, exchanging messages between different carriers is also made easy. It also allows you to convert voicemail to text, thus giving customers the option of sending and receiving voicemail over email. Customers even have the option of logging in from multiple devices like a tablet or a secondary phone, thus allowing them to access all of their calls and voicemails even if they don’t have access to their primary phone momentarily.
VoIP, without a doubt, is set to revolutionize the whole communications industry. Its ability to keep users connected even without having a mobile network connection will make it the go-to service for people who need to communicate across different countries and carriers. The fact that it requires much lesser data when compared to traditional phone networks also gives it the upper hand when it comes to the costs borne by the customer.