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Session 8 - VoIP


Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
is a technology that enables the transmission of voice over an existing IP network such as "the Internet" or a local network. VoIP is a way of converting the analogue signals when using a phone to a digital format (across a network) and then back into analogue at the receiver.

To be able to make calls using VoIP, software needs to be installed on your P.C. There are number of free VoIP software packages available for download online. The software enables the P.C. to transmit and receive VoIP calls, you will likely only be able to communicate with other VoIP users. The advantage this this is that it is completely free (except for your usual internet connection), but with a limited reach of other VoIP terminals only. There are however, companies which act as a gateway between VoIP and traditional PSTN lines (the usual telephone network). This sort of company may charge you for its services for calling a normal telephone number, but it is likely to be a heavily reduced rate to normal charges.

Some examples of VoIP Software
  • Skype is a very popular propriety VoIP system, with free calls to other Skype users (calls to conventional landlines are also possible at much lower rates). Ideal for beginners and those familiar with standard MSN.
  • Gizmo is an open source VoIP system which is similar in functionality to Skype but has a few more features, SIP compatibility and can call landlines at similar rates.
  • Vonage offer a more dedicated system for unlimited local and national calls to landlines and other VoIP users. A free adapter converts your landline phone to plug directly into your router to provide a familiar service.

All you need is a microphone and speakers, although a headset is usually preferable. Analogue Telephone Adapters (VoIP gateways) allow you to connect your old telephone to your PC/Router for direct calling. Some Analogue Telephone Adapters require software to be installed to act as a gateway for the phone to function This method was very popular until dedicated IP phones arrived. IP Phones look exactly like a normal telephone, expect they plug directly into your router to communicate directly with another VoIP gateway, server or phone. No computer or software is required and it can be used completely independently as long as an internet connection exists.

Current telephone networks are used for the same purpose (voice transmission), but require complex circuit switching to route calls to their destination. As VoIP uses existing IP technology, it uses Packet switching to send information - directing only the "packets" of voice data to their destination. This requires much less infrastructure and logistics than legacy telecommunications technologies - saving a considerable amount of money for the user. Dial-up users will find VoIP impractical to use, as it requires more bandwidth than can be provided. Any broadband user should be able to fully utilise VoIP without any problems. This technology has numerous advantages over the current system, mainly in cost reduction, but also in future capacity and capabilities. It would not be difficult to combine VoIP with other existing technologies such as streaming video

Pros
  • Accessible for all types of users Home users, small office and large companies can all benefit from a properly implemented VoIP system.
  • The initial overhead costs are fairly linear with no high initial startup cost, as existing computers and routers can be used.
  • Free VoIP>VoIP calls - Intraoffice communication costs are reduced to zero and calls to other VoIP users are completely free.
  • Increased Security - It isn't as easy for someone to listen into a call when you are speaking to someone digitally.
  • Little Training Required - Dedicated IP phones are similar in function to standard phones
  • A properly implemented system can have higher quality than a normal phone.
Cons
  • Variable Quality - If the network is congested or other users are consuming too much bandwidth from the same internet connection, the quality of the call can degrade. Voices can sound strange and lag times can increase in worst cases.
  • Network configuration - Home users will not experience this problem, but large networks will have to assign VoIP QoS priorities to make sure VoIP is always available under heavy networking loads.

VoIP Service Providers

1TouchTone

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

AEMcom Srl

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: IT
Market: Italy

(aq)

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: UK
Market: United Kingdom

AOL

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

AT&T

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

BroadVoice

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

BroadVox Direct

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

calleveryone

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

CallGate

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: BG, DE, UK, US
Market: Worldwide

CliConnect

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: CA, UK, US
Market: Worldwide

EarthLink

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

Engin

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: AU
Market: Australia

Encounta

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: private
Market: Australia

euphonex

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Asterisk PBX Supported
Numbers: US, CA, UK, MX, JP, IT, FR, ES, AR, BR, CL, PE, SG
Market: Worldwide

EW Communications

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: UK
Market: United Kingdom

Fastweb

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: IT
Market: Italy

GalaxyVoice

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

iConnectHere

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: private
Market: Worldwide

ifreedom

Services: PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: private
Market: CA,UK,US

Gizmo Project

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
PC to PC voice calls
Numbers: private
Market: Worldwide

ineen

Services: PC to PC voice calls
PC to PC video calls
Numbers: private
Market: Worldwide

ivoz

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: BR
Market: BR

IP Connection

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: private
Market: US

Lingo

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: AR, AU, BR, CA, FR, GT, HK, IT, JP, KR, PR, TW, UK, US
Market: US

Majosa Communications

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: Worldwide

Mconnect, Inc.

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: Worldwide

MyWebCalls

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: private
Market: Worldwide

MyPhoneCompany

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

Net2Phone

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: CA, UK, US
Market: CA, UK, US

NuFone Network

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
PC to PC video calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: private
Market: US

Nuvio

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

OmniLEC

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
PC to PC video calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Numbers: US
Market: US

Packet8

Services: PC to PC video calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

SimpleTelecom

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

SIP Phone

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: UK,US
Market: US

Skype

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Numbers: private + DK, FI, FR, HK, NO, SE, UK, US
Market: Worldwide

SunRocket

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

TeliPhone

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Numbers: CA
Market: CA, US

TelTel

Services: PC to PC voice calls
Numbers: private
Market: Worldwide

Tierzero

Services: Hosted VoIP Services
PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
PC to PC video calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

Time Warner Cable

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

Unlimitel

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: CA
Market: Canada

USA Datanet

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

Verizon

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

Wazatel

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: private
Market: Worldwide

Vbuzzer

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Numbers: CA, US
Market: Worldwide

via:talk

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

Voiceglobe

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US, BE, UK, FR, ES, IT, DE
Market: Worldwide

VoicePulse

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

VoIPAmerican

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

VoIP Buster

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Numbers: private
Market: Worldwide

VoIP.net

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US

VoIPTalk

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware IP phone
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: UK
Market: UK

Vonage

Services: PC to phone calling (via a soft phone)
Phone to PC calls
PC to PC voice calls
Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: CA, MX, UK, US
Market: CA, US

VOZ Online

Services: Phone to Phone calls
Phone calls from a hardware ATA device
Numbers: US
Market: US


Vonage Wi-Fi Phone

Vonage have brought out a Wi-Fi phone available in the uk.


The WiFi UTStarcom F1000 is a pocket-sized, wireless Internet phone that uses Vonage service by connecting to wireless Internet access points worldwide, also known as WiFi hotspots. It's an easy way to bring your Vonage service anywhere.

Take it With You

The Vonage WiFi phone is great for people on the go - use the phone with wireless Internet networks at home or at the office, or when traveling and have access to a compatible WiFi hotspot. The WiFi phone is a great way to enjoy high-quality Vonage Broadband phone service around the globe, and help you save money.

How it Works

The Vonage WiFi phone works by accessing wireless Internet connections such as a wireless router in your home or office, or WiFi hotspots around the globe. You can access open WiFi hotspots quickly and easily, as well as various secure hotspots. Traveling to your office in New York? Use their wireless Internet connection and your Vonage WiFi phone to talk to your family and co-workers back home at no additional charge! It works at many hotels, airports, coffee shops, and more!

http://www.vonage.co.uk/device.php?type=F1000