In this day and age, all active businesses will find it necessary to adopt a telephone system of some kind. This choice, of course, will be subject to the telephony technology offered by local and long-distance telephone carriers. Though VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) has come to command the telephone world, past telephony is often now referred to as POTS, i.e., plain old telephone service.
The new technology might also be referred to as an Internet phone or IP phone. POTS was the standard telephone service made available by telephone companies from 1876 until 1988, which is to say before the widespread introduction of the Internet. POTS was wired telephone service, in which calls were transmitted over copper loops. Not antiquated truly, POTS remains the primary form of residential and small business telephone service in many parts of the world.
Today, the telephone world relies on VoIP and SIP. The origination of these calls is actually similar to the origination of calls under POTS, involving signal creation, channelling, and digitisation of the analogue voice signals. Past that, however, voice is no longer transmitted over any copper wire network. Instead, the digital information is packetised and transmitted as IP packets over an Internet network. In this way, voice now travels the Internet from caller to callee.
The advantages of VoIP service are many. In ways, Internet phone calling is technologically simpler than POTS calling. For instance, the PBX may no longer be required for business calls. PBX stands for private branch exchange, and it is a telephone system within a business that switches calls between users on local lines. Voice over Internet protocol transfers calls as data over the Internet, requiring only an Internet connection and a computer or IP phone.
Internet calling actually requires less data than does POTS calling. Also, Internet calls can be fully integrated with business systems, allowing for easier data transfer. Users of handsets with Internet calling can access caller account information while on a call. Users of Internet-calling handsets may also benefit from the easy addition of services such as call waiting, call forwarding, and call transfer, and these features are generally offered at no additional cost. Business owners will also benefit from a cost reduction realised with Internet-calling.
The costs of this service are not based on time or distance, and companies may experience savings of up to 50% over POTS calling, the cost of which depends on time and distance. Hosted phone service can also reduce installation costs since with hosted phone, the hardware is held, owned, and operated by the provider.
There are differences between Internet calling and SIP trunks. SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. SIP trunks are used for maintaining multimedia communication sessions, including voice and video calls. SIP will include voice calling, along with the transmission of complex data and images. This all-inclusive solution is preferred by many businesses in handling commercial communication needs, although generally speaking, SIP systems will involve a higher cost, plus specialised maintenance and operations.
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