VoIP: Digitizing Talk
Voice, Data, Fax, Video. TCP/IP Moves It.
In 1988 when use of the Internet exploded it was only a matter of time before voice communication would migrate to this transmission medium. The technology of communication followed a parallel path, moving the transmission of all forms of information from analog waveforms and modulation schemes to digital and binary.
Voice over Internet Protocol is the logical next step in the evolution of human communication. TCP/IP is the semi-trailer of our information super-highway. If you can reduce a thing to a digital representation, you can move it across the universe in IP packets. That’s exactly what is happening to nearly every form of communication.
We are familiar with the transmission of text and video over Internet Protocol. We use it every day on the World Wide Web. Voice over IP is still an emerging technology; however, it is certainly mature enough to carry enterprise-level business on its shoulders.
VoIP For Better or Worse
As with any technology, there are those who love VoIP and those who do not.
Adopters enjoy the fact that they are not paying per-line charges to the phone company. They also enjoy the powerful set of features that are packed in VoIP packages. The interoperability options are limitless, tying cell phones with fax machines and video conferencing with handheld tablets.
Detractors are dissatisfied with issues that nearly always can be traced back to ISP and carriers. When bandwidth is sufficient and latency is in acceptable ranges, VoIP works great. However, as we all have experienced first-hand, sometimes the whole net slows to a crawl for no apparent reason. When this happens, VoIP and its associated services suffer.
Network engineers are always working to reduce latency and downtime on all networks. This will always be a major push for everyone involved. Whether things get better or just bigger remains to be seen.
Just as digital TV has completely replaced its analog predecessor, VoIP is destined to eventually become the default for voice communication. As adoption continues to spread and the technology matures even more, there will be fewer reasons to consider anything other than VoIP for your home office or enterprise communications needs.
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