Phones that use Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, are generally referred to as broadband phones. The major function of such phones is converting analog voice data into digital data so it can be transmitted over the Internet. The phones link to high-speed Internet connections via computers that enable voice communications. Broadband phones have transformed the Internet into a technology that can provide telephone calls for free by avoiding traditional phone service providers.
VoIP phone technology has the capability of changing the way people talk to one another around the world. VoIP service providers are growing by leaps and bounds, and major phone firms are establishing a presence in markets worldwide by offering calling plans that have bundled VoIP broadband phones with their other services. The Federal Communications Commission and other regulators around the world have started to investigate the new technology and study the impact and future risks associated with it.
The VoIP phone looks just like a traditional phone. While a regular phone connects to the wall socket with an RJ-11 connector, a broadband phone connects to a computer or router using an RJ-45 connector. All broadband phones come with software pre-loaded to handle IP calls. In a recent innovation, Wi-Fi VoIP broadband phones have become available. These phones can make calls via any Wi-Fi hotspot. VoIP can also use ATA sets, which are telephone-like boxes that connect to a computer and convert analog voice data to digital signals. VoIP can connect calls made from one computer to another computer as well. This means users only pay for the Internet connection and not for the call itself. VoIP phones are dedicated devices and can be used only for making calls using this technology, however. To get a taste of what is available in a VoIP phone, users can check out the latest version of Yahoo Messenger, which is voice-enabled. It can be used to make computer-to-computer calls, and it is very easy. Another place to check is www.skype.com.
Long-distance callers may be making VoIP calls involuntarily using their VoIP phones and paying regular costs. This is because most phone firms around the world want to reduce their bandwidth by routing some calls through circuit switches to an IP gateway.
Experts predict that all the existing phone technology that currently uses circuit-switched networks will be replaced by packet-switching technology. VoIP offers financial and infrastructure efficiencies, costs less, and is more effective. Broadband phones are used by most corporations, and it only a matter of time before they are commonly used in individual households. VoIP phones can be used to call anywhere in the world that has a broadband Internet connection. VoIP firms offer rate plans similar to those of cell phone companies for individuals who want only VoIP broadband phones, usually $30 to $80 per month. Users can take their phones anywhere or use a laptop computer to make PC-to-PC calls.