Overview of VoIP – Voice Over IP
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In 2008 VOIP Has Yet To Make The Grade.
VOIP has been one of the most hotly discussed new technologies introduced to business communications in a long while. However, at the present time it is unlikely that companies will find the services of VOIP to be more beneficial than a standard telephone connection. The current issues that dog the widespread introduction of VOIP include sound clarity and quality, reliability and interoperability standards. We will deal the issues one by one:
Sound Clarity And Quality
VOIP was billed as being the telephony service of the future. It was claimed that calls made over the Internet would have sound clarity comparable to conventional forms of telecommunication. So far, this clarity simply hasn’t materialized and many users have reported that the quality is on a par or worse than that of cellular phones.
The major stumbling block for VOIP services has been that the Internet simply wasn’t designed to transmit voice data from one computer to another. Any form of data transmitted over the Internet needs to be compressed and transmitted as data packets. Voice data is usually compressed by 90% of its original size but in doing so the small packets become more liable to damage. When one of these packets does become damaged, the result is either an attempt to resend the data, causing a noticeable delay, or audible static build up.
The Internet suffers a typical delay of around 400 to 2000 milliseconds. At first glance this doesn’t appear too damaging a number, however, a standard telephone call from America to China only suffers a 150-millisecond delay. The result is a disjointed conversation that can easily become very distracting and equally annoying.
The transmission of data over the Internet does not usually demand perfect quality of transmission. If data fails to send from source to destination, it will simply send again. A delay of fractions of a second or possibly more is acceptable in these circumstances. However, when translating this into voice data, the issues of reliability become a major issue.
The simple fact is that Internet technology is nowhere near as good as the American Telephone Network (the PSTN). Major changes would need to be made to the way that voice data is transmitted over the Internet before VOIP could be considered as a viable alternative that provides the appropriate level of quality.
New technologies mean new standards; it’s one simple fact of introducing any innovative solution. VOIP is no different and because it is still a new concept, there are many different companies trying to produce the single most effective and popular solution. Unfortunately, what this means is that it is highly improbable that all VOIP service providers will be able to offer solutions to clients that are interoperable. Even if you want to speak to a customer who has a VOIP connection, you may find that they either can’t take your call or the quality will be seriously compromised.
The Future Of VOIP
VOIP clearly has some way to go before it will take over from standard telecommunication methods. It does quite clearly hold the potential for the future but serious issues regarding the quality, clarity, reliability and interoperability must be addressed before it can replace or even compliment existing methods of communication.
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