JUST WHAT IS VOICE OVER INTERNET TECHNOLOGY?

Edgar Lajambe, owner of VCCNet Internet Solutions has been conducting a number of information sessions at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre to help make local residents more aware of the tremendous advances which have been made in recent years with respect to communication.

One of the most amazing developments is commonly referred to as "Voice Over Internet Protocol" or VoIP.

In simple terms, a VoIP service allows you to use your broadband (high-speed) connection to place telephone calls over the Internet. It is not difficult to see how this is rocking the telecom industry to the core.

The advantages of VoIP are many, and the savings can be very significant. So it is no wonder that VoIP has become the hottest telecom technology of the decade. Informed consumers and businesses around the world are adopting this technology at a phenomenal rate.

For a more comprehensive review of this new technology, you can contact Edgar Lajambe at 670-4039 and listen to him while he uses this new technology or you can log on to his web site below..

  

  
The following article was taken off the internet. It gives you an idea about why Voice Over Internet Protocol is becoming so popular
  

Voice over Net going mainstream

Number of U.S. subscribers more than tripled in '05 Users like low prices, versatility of Web phones

Seven months ago, Ron Hirson cut his phone bill by more than half and is putting his savings into a diaper fund for his baby on the way.

The 32-year-old San Francisco Internet advertising executive didn't discover a hidden loophole or create an illegal long-distance scheme. He did what millions of others have done recently, turning to Internet telephoning to dramatically reduce his phone bills.

"I always felt I was getting ripped off by the phone company,'' said Hirson, who signed up with Vonage last year. "This is definitely a step in the right direction.''

Internet telephoning, otherwise known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), broke out last year in a big way with first-time subscribers like Hirson. Internet phone subscribers more than tripled from 1.3 million customers in the United States at the start of 2005 to 4.5 million at the end of last year, according to TeleGeography, a research firm.

The growth was intensified in particular by an aggressive advertising campaign by Internet phone company Vonage, of New Jersey , which spent $220 million ( U.S. ) on Web ads, more than any other firm last year.

Cable companies like Time Warner and Cablevision also contributed to the rise of Internet telephony as they started marketing their Internet-based telephone services in earnest. Local cable company Comcast will begin service in the Bay Area in the next 60 days.

With hundreds of small Internet phone service providers and cable companies involved, analysts see Internet telephony going mainstream in the next two years with more consumers turning their back on traditional landline service. By 2009, there is expected to be 32 million Internet phone lines while traditional residential landlines will fall from about 114 million last year to about 88 million in 2009, according to Gartner Research.

"There's no reason to think this acceleration we're seeing will slow down anytime soon," said Paul Brodsky, an analyst with TeleGeography. "If you look at the take-up rate of VoIP, it's astonishing.''

The premise of Internet telephony is simple. Instead of using dedicated copper phone lines to carry voice calls, Internet telephony converts phone calls into packets of data that travel along the Internet before they are reassembled on the receiving end. The service takes advantage of broadband connections and built-up Internet networks, which speed the data online along a variety of paths.

The technology came of age in 1995, with the development of software that allowed users to talk between two personal computers. Entrepreneurs like Jeff Pulver, founder of the company that eventually became Vonage, quickly broadened the technology to allow people to converse using landline phones connected to their PCs.

Internet telephone service continued as a hidden playground for techno-geeks until 2002, when Vonage became the first independent company to begin offering it over broadband lines. Vonage, which has about 1.5 million customers, was followed by a gaggle of rivals, all anxious to try their hand at the telecommunications game.

"In the past, if you wanted to start a new phone company, you had to have the infrastructure and equipment," said Pulver. "But now voice has become truly an application that can run on anything, instead of needing an entire infrastructure behind it.''

Because of its simplicity, Internet phone service offers significant savings over traditional phone service, which requires calls to travel over a single dedicated circuit. It's how companies like market leader Vonage and Santa Clara's 8x8, the second-leading independent Internet phone service provider, can offer unlimited national long-distance service for about $20 to $25 a month. Similar unlimited calling plans from traditional providers cost at least twice that much.

Telecommunication companies also offer Internet telephone services and are slowly moving their voice networks over to Internet Protocol. To go completely with Internet protocol, phone companies will need to upgrade their switches, the large equipment that directs phone traffic, and also upgrade their customers to broadband so they can receive high-quality phone service. Since all of the traditional companies have already paid for their existing networks, many aren't in a hurry to incur the cost of making the complete switch to VoIP.

For now, Internet phone service is largely the domain of non-traditional telecommunications rivals, which are building up a sizable customer base with their lower costs.

But while price is the lure for many consumers, Internet phone service also offers some nifty features that differentiate it from landline phone service. Many companies offer the ability to choose a phone number, which can be used from any broadband connection. You can also often use the Web to check voice mails, monitor call logs online and get Caller ID for free.

Consumers will soon get the opportunity to make Internet calls on the road, with new phones and cellphones that allow people to make calls via Wi-Fi networks.

Businesses are also migrating to Internet phone service, partly for the savings, but in many cases for the flexibility and features. Companies can stay better connected with workers in remote areas through phone calls and instant messaging, and transmit data to them via their computer simultaneously with a phone call.

With Internet phone service, some traditional customer service call centers now have their employees work from home while still giving them instant access to customer information. And it makes it easier for companies to hold video conferences.

"It's about improving business processes," said Jeff Snyder, an analyst with Gartner Research. "That's where most businesses will see value."

 
 

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