The following easy to read article details, in
laymanís terms, where VoIP has been and where VoIP is going as well
as why hundreds of thousands of Americans are switching to a VoIP
solution at home.
Please vist www.VoIPChoices.com for a
comparison of the most popular VoIP providers
including several providers who offer
a free VoIP trial period.
Pricing starts at $16.58/month for Unlimited calling to the
U.S. and Canada. Save money by doing a side-by-side VoIP comparison by
price as well as features.
The VoIP Telephone Services
by: Rick Hendershot
Ever since the birth of the internet,
entrepreneurs with an eye to the future have predicted that voice
communications -- telephone services -- would eventually be merged
with internet services. With the widespread adoption of VoIP, that
day has come, and it is causing a revolution in the telephone
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.
**It's all about cost**
Two things have made traditional telephone
service providers like AT&T and Bell so powerful. Their monopoly
over local telephone services, and their traditional stranglehold on
lucrative and usually over-priced "long distance" services. Both of
these captive markets have been seriously eroded over the last few
years, as the reality of VoIP has started to sink in.
In anticipation of the revolution that is now
upon us, most aspects of telephone service have gradually been
opened up to competition. Most of us now have a choice of providers
for both local and long distance telephone service. And the biggest
reason for the new competitive environment is the recognition that
the widespread adoption of VoIP is inevitable.
**The development of VoIP**
VoIP has been developing slowly over the last
ten years or so. Early implementations allowed computer users to
talk to each other through their computers. This was only feasible
if you had a voice-enabled computer, a reliable and stable internet
connection, and a software program installed on your computer that
made it all work.
The advantage of this computer-to-computer
communication was that you could completely bypass the traditional
telephone system and talk to anyone in the world free of charge --
as long as they had a similar setup to yours. But the disadvantages
of communicating this way were also obvious. You could only
communicate this way using your computer. You were completely
dependent on often unstable dial-up internet connections. And the
person at the other end of the conversation had to also be "online"
with a voice-enabled computer.
**Today's VoIP has solved these problems**
Today's versions of VoIP have left these
problems in the past. Two things were required to make VoIP
technology feasible on a large scale basis, and both of these things
have now been realized.
First, broadband internet service has been
widely adopted. This makes it possible to have stable internet
connections that are "always on". Second, the industry has developed
a simple, inexpensive method of integrating the IP network (the
internet) with the traditional telephone system. This allows a user
of VoIP to use his or her own telephone to call anyone else in the
world who has a traditional telephone connection.
This is where we are today. As traditional
telecom companies like AT&T, Bell, Qwest, and SBC develop their
own implementations of VoIP technology the way has been opened up
for a myriad of choices for consumers. Today's VoIP allows anyone
with a broadband internet connection to place calls to anyone with
an ordinary telephone connection, anywhere in the world.
**Why you save money with VoIP**
The major advantages of VoIP are lower cost,
and greater flexibility with no significant decrease in voice
quality. First, a VoIP subscriber does not need a traditional phone
line. Instead, you are assigned a phone number by your VoIP
provider. Prices for these numbers can be as low as $9 usd per
Second, most VoIP subscribers will purchase a
"bundle" of services that includes unlimited incoming calls and
unlimited long distance calls to anyone within a defined geographic
area. For instance, VoIP unlimited calling plans to anyone in the
USA or Canada start at around $20 per month.
Third, most VoIP service providers offer free
bundled features that most traditional telephone companies charge
for. These include free voicemail, call forwarding, caller ID, call
waiting, call waiting ID, 3 way calling, speed dialing, and many
more of the services that the traditional companies are constantly
trying to sell you.
**Greater flexibility and portability**
Another significant advantage is the
flexibility and portability of VoIP phone service. With VoIP your
personal telephone number is programmed into the converter that acts
as a bridge between your internet connection and your regular
This has several important advantages. As
already mentioned you do not need an actual land line. Instead your
telephone number is assigned to your converter (not to your
geographic land line). So you can take your converter with you
anywhere in the world, plug it into any available broadband
connection, and immediately start using your regular number to make
and receive calls.
This flexibility also lets you choose a number
in an area code where most of your long distance calls originate.
For instance, if many of your friends, family, business associates
or customers are calling from a specific city that traditionally
involved a long distance call for them, you could choose a number in
that area code and immediately turn all their calls to you into
local (free) calls for them.
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.