VoIP Phone Service

As phone services continue to evolve in business, VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) has quickly become the go-to alternative for most companies.  In 2004, VOIP Phone Service really took off and was introduced to the mass market. During this time more and more cable companies started offering Broadband Internet access in conjunction with traditional phone services. This really catapulted VOIP into businesses and homes alike.

VOIP phone services can be implemented in a handful of different ways. From analog telephone adapters to Ethernet and Wi-Fi options, each service can be adapted to fit the intended business. Corporations see VOIP Phone Services as an ideal alternative to the traditional copper-wire systems that have been used in the past. The costs are low, set-up is fairly easy and the networking features trump that of traditional systems. One huge advantage to VOIP phone service is the ability to route phone calls over the same data networks. This allows flexibility in adding phone lines, caller ID, conference calling and various other features.

So what are the cons? Due to the fact that VOIP is still a fairly new alternative to traditional phones, you’ll notice a few problematic functions. Call quality can drop from time to time and may drop completely depending on how reliable your data service is. Compatibility is another huge issue with VOIP phone service. Due to the fact that there isn’t a universal standard for VOIP, PC-to-PC calls can be incompatible. It’s important to know what settings are in place to make sure that everything works in sync. Companies often contract out to telecommunication companies that in turn setup the entire network. It can become troublesome to constantly change and/or reconfigure a network VOIP system without the proper knowledge and experience.

VOIP for the consumer market has been on a tear as of late. Thanks to companies like Skype and Vonage, VOIP is now a normal use of communication. It has also redefined international calling by allowing users to talk for free. Mobile is another space that has quickly picked up on VOIP phone services. There are now hundreds of apps in the mobile marketplace that offer VOIP. Google and Skype seem to be leading the new wave of mobile VOIP, but they’re plenty more on the horizon.

As VOIP technology continues to grow and innovate, we’ll likely see it take on different forms of communication. Mobile is just the beginning and it literally has the potential to become the backbone of telecommunication, as we know it. The evolution of Wi-Fi and now mobile web is the perfect backdrop for VOIP. Once considered ahead of its time, VOIP now has all the resources necessary to be the default communication channel.

So what’s next for VOIP? The possibilities are truly endless. As fiber optic broadband grows and replaces cable, VOIP will experience resurgence in quality, usage and overall integration. These are important advancements in modern technology that positively effect VOIP phone service.

Restrictions on VOIP and use of the technology are somewhat arbitrary. As noted in a previous paragraph, there isn’t a universal standard for VOIP and thus make it hard to control. The FCC has full control over the terms and stipulations of VOIP services and how they should be used in America. However, compatibility issues arise once more when foreign networks interact with each other. This has been an issue with illegal activity both in the United States and overseas. IP detection will allow authorities to figure out the location of where the data centers or networks are based out of, but real-time tracking can be an issue. As intelligence agencies become more familiar with VOIP and interact with it more on a global scale, we’ll see more initiatives utilizing the technology and working to advance it.

Security controls on VOIP Phone Services are much more advanced than traditional phone systems. The ability to trace IP addresses is much more cost and time effective for authorities. More sophisticated systems are able to manipulate VOIP technology, but for the most part these are rare and often conducted overseas. Some business that are illegal in the United States have stricter policies in using VOIP phone services and functions while conducting business here. International online gambling for instance needs to make sure that their VOIP phone services in America are under the radar and untraceable. Due to the fact that gambling is only legal in only certain parts of the United States, these companies run the risk of having their services used in cities or states that disallow online gambling.  Through VOIP, federal and state authorities are able to know if illegal activity is being conducted through VOIP phone services and where the main data centers are located. However, proxy servers and other forms of indistinguishable VOIP encoders make it possible for illegal operations to run businesses anywhere in the world. If state or federal authorities are unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these services are coming for major illegal data centers, they essentially have no case. Proving that the illegal operations are in fact encoded with special rerouting IP addresses will definitely prove suspicions 10-fold. Agencies often hire former IT consultants that are able to employ the necessary functions to detect fraudulent IP mishandling.

The by-product of VOIP technology has culminated in a wealth of new devices and hardware that run specifically on VOIP technology. From phones to data centers, VOIP products are important subsidiaries for any company.  This is especially true for larger corporations with bigger infrastructures. VOIP makes it easier to implement widespread functions that not only speed up productivity, but enhance the overall product. Most Reservation systems and customer service portals rely on VOIP as the single most important communication channel for their business. In other words without VOIP, these companies would have to rely on expensive and otherwise complicated means of telecommunication. The years ahead look bright for VOIP and more possibilities in the technology are becoming readily available. It will be interesting to see the next evolution of VOIP and how we may be able to integrate it even more with telecommunication technology.