In VoIP, voice information is converted into digital packets and sent over the Internet and then converted back into analog signals before reaching receiver.
With hardware based business VoIP services, a phone is fitted with an adapter that connects to a high speed Internet connection.
The call goes through a local telephone company to a VoIP provider and over the Internet to the receiver's telephone company.
Software based business VoIP services are available with microphone headsets that plug into your computer and calls are routed through your cable modem.
The VoIP can also run through a private data network.
The main advantage of VoIP is that voice flows through a general-purpose packet switched network and avoids the fixed circuitry of traditional telephony networks.
Thus, charges from local telephone providers are avoided and free calls can be made to anywhere in the world.
The only cost is that of the Internet connection.
Some companies providing these services are Free World Dial-Up, Skype, and the Globe.
The main disadvantages of VoIP are the quality of service.
VoIP does not guarantee that data packets will be delivered in sequential order.
There are problems of packet loss, bandwidth, and other latency issues.
The nature Of IP networks make it difficult to locate the geographical position of network of users.
Emergency calls cannot be easily located to a nearby call center and impossible on some VoIP sets.
Government has asked VoIP carriers to implement e-911 an emergency service along with their package.
A major development since 2004 has been introduction of mass-market VoIP services over broadband Internet services.
Customers require an analog telephone adapter to connect a telephone to the broadband Internet connection.
Full phone VoIP companies provide inbound and outbound calling with direct Inward dialing.
As calls from home are made to the outside world.
They go through Internet and are virtually free.
Although few offices use pure Business VoIP system, telecommunication providing companies use IP telephony to connect switching stations, converting voice signals to IP packets and other uses.
Corporate customer telephony uses IP telephony exclusively for data abstraction.
VoIP is also used widely by carriers especially for international telephone calls.
It is used to route traffic starting and ending at traditional phones.
The future buzz is about IP-multi-media subsystems will merge Internet technologies with the mobile world using VoIP infrastructure.