Over the time voice communication has moved away from the PSTN and is going towards VoIP. In reality, even though a lot of customers don’t recognize it but they might already be using VoIP as the majority of the carriers are upgrading their communications. Both company and customers of VoIP has witnessed an immense growth in VoIP communications and there are no signs of it slowing down. Nonetheless, an average person does not understand the difference between VoIP phones and regular phones services. Since VoIP is becoming famous over time it is better to understand why it so much successful. VoIP and traditional phone services differ in terms of pricing, features and business model.
What Hasn’t Changed?
Before knowing how VoIP has revolutionized communications it is also important to know the things that have not changed. For example, for the caller, the experience remains the same. However, behind the scenes, a lot of things work in a different way. There is a lot of features that we mostly take granted on landlines are still present in VoIP.
Voicemail, putting someone on hold, forwarding calls to an alternate number and IVR systems are all available on VoIP. Most of the people may not know it but VoIP also offers to fax facility. However, the process of implementation, configuration, and modification of these features has changed a lot.
The Differences between VoIP and Regular Phone Service
Essential Technology – Circuits and Packets
VoIP is known as an upgrade from regular voice calls and it uses a unique type of technology to send voice data across to the other end of the call. VoIP stands for Internet Protocol and is described precisely how the technology works. Generally, voice calls travel via copper lines over the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). The PSTN uses circuit switching technology to complete this task. In contrast VoIP routes the voice calls over data networks, for instance, the internet or internal enterprise LANs. VoIP utilizes packet switching technology, a similar underlying principle in every form of communication on the internet.
Whenever a call is made through traditional landline, the circuits open from the location of the caller to the place of call destination. Throughout the duration of the call, the circuit has to be kept open there for traditionally long distance calls are very expensive. The longer the distance of a call the more circuits it would require to be opened and held up as no other call can travel that same route. VoIP works by converting human voice into data packets and then these packets are sent to their destinations. Further, these packets don’t need to travel and most often take different routes to get to their destination. After that, the packets are assembled into the right order and then are converted into sound at the end of the receiver. In addition, there is no different infrastructure needed for VoIP, it uses an existing internet connection that is already available. This lets VoIP operators charge just a portion of the cost as compared to the traditional telephone carriers.
The Distinction between Consumer and Business Lines
In general customers and enterprise lines have an obvious distinction. It is a lot costly for a person to buy or lease a business line. Such as, if you are working from home as a freelancer or you run a small business from your garage. You may require a particular business feature to present a professional image to your customers, but the charges of business lines would keep them out of reach. On the contrary, VoIP eliminates this distinction and makes business features a lot more affordable for the small business owners and entrepreneurs. In the majority of cases, there is only one difference between a customer and business VoIP which is of prince or the list of features that are offered. There are not many providers which cater to the small business exclusively by offering them a mixture of business features but at affordable charges.
Power and Internet Requirements
Traditional phone lines offer an extraordinary advantage which is that it doesn’t need an external power to work. The phone line works even if there is no power or internet. On the contrary, VoIP needs both power and a stable internet connection to make and receive phone calls.
Silo versus Interoperability
For a long time, landlines have existed as a silo, being separate from the other digital form of communication such as email or instant messaging. It meant that calling remained separate from the internet and app ecosystem. At the time when the internet was new this separation didn’t appear to be a problem but over time online connectivity and cloud technology has become a significant part of the workflow. Fortunately, VoIP eliminates this separation by including calling to the same network as the other means of communication like email, messaging, video calling and file transferring etc. Hosted VoIP systems include a lot of enterprise applications so that it can enable easy data transfer and further proficient processes.
Calling from any device
The traditional landline users were very restricted as they could only use one device that had to be put in a fixed location. Phone number of the line used to be connected to a physical location via area codes rather than the user. However, VoIP does things in a different way. The phone number that is assigned to you when you buy VoIP services can be used to make calls from any compatible device such as desk phones, laptops, PCs, mobile phone or tablets. VoIP provided numbers are not bound by physical location then you are free to take it where ever you go. This is certainly a useful feature for all kinds of businesses as there is no need for a professional technician or the hassle of transferring physical lines from one place to the other. As long as you have access to an active internet connection you can make calls from any device.