VoIP Full Form: What does VoIP mean?

VoIP is a general term used in the field of communication. VoIP technology is mostly seen in companies and businesses to help in sharing business information. Although VoIP technology is not commonly seen in homes, it is quite popular all over the world and connects people in one way or another. Since the word is an acronym, there is a full form of VoIP.


In this article, we are discussing essential topics about the VoIP technology, such as the VoIP Full Form, definition, history, features, protocols, advantages, disadvantages, and other details.

What You Will Learn


What is the full form of VoIP?

The meaning or full form of VoIP is “Voice over Internet Protocol” or “Voice communication Over Internet Protocol”. It is also known as IP telephony. Based on the VoIP setup or environment, the service providers may offer different services. In short, we can say that VoIP technology is primarily designed to offer phone services over the Internet, making communication digital.

VoIP Full Form

The full form of VoIP can be explained as:

V Voice
O Over
I Internet
P Protocol

Let’s talk about what exactly the VoIP is:

What is VoIP?

VoIP is defined as a method or group of technologies that enable the transmission of voice and multimedia content over a broadband/Internet connection instead of traditional analog phone lines. Some VoIP services offer to call only people using those services, while others may provide the facility to call anyone with a telephone number, be it a local mobile, or long-distance international number.

Generally, VoIP is known to work on computer systems with an Internet connection and VoIP software. However, it is also available with specific VoIP phones and even with the traditional phones connected to VoIP adapters. VoIP is known by many other names, such as Internet telephony, Internet phone, broadband phone, IP technology, and digital phone.

Brief History about VoIP

VoIP technology is not new, there have been constant developments to make it reliable, effective, and productive in real-time. Some notable developments for VoIP are mentioned below:


In 1973, Danny Cohen was the first who is credited for demonstrating a form of packet voice over an early ARPANET. In 1974, the very first real-time conversation was held successfully over ARPANET.

In 1977, a protocol named UPD (User Diagram Protocol) was integrated to carry real-time traffic.

In 1991, the first VoIP application named Speak Freely was released as Public Domain by John Walker and Brian C. Wiles.

In 1992, InSoft Inc. released a desktop conferencing product and named it Communique. It included VoIP and video conferencing. That’s the reason why InSoft is known for creating the 1st generation of commercial VoIP services in the USA.

In 1993, the first video telepresence system, called Teleport, was released by David Allen and Herold Williams.

In 1995, the first-ever commercial (First For-Profit) VoIP application, known as Internet Phone, was released by VocalTec. It was widely available to customers. Using this VoIP software, one user can call another over the internet connection and talk through the mic and speaker. However, at that time, both the users needed the same software to communicate with each other.

In 2005, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) instructed VoIP vendors to add support for emergency calls.

Many codecs were introduced from time to time to enhance or extend the features of VoIP services. For example, G.729 (in 2006), SILK (in 2009), AAC-LD (in 2010), etc.

VoIP accessibility continued to expand throughout the 21st century and added many ways of communication, such as PC to PC, PC to Phone, Phone to Phone, IP Phone to Phone, Phone to IP Phone, IP Phone to IP Phone, and so on.

All of these developments helped create a stable VoIP service for consumers and businesses to operate over an Internet connection. These continued developments resulted in a technology that enables users to make and accept telephone calls in the same way as they would using the public switched telephone network (PSTN). VoIP is an essential part of most businesses these days.


Features of VoIP

Some essential features of VoIP technology are discussed below:

Limitless Calling: With VoIP technology, one can make unlimited national and international phone calls.

Online Faxes: VoIP allows users to send and receive faxes online without the need for additional hardware or wires.

Excellent Voice Quality: Since VoIP uses high-speed internet, it typically produces a loud and clear voice for both caller and the receiver.

Conferencing: VoIP can be combined over dedicated conference lines to establish conference calls or meetings between multiple people simultaneously. It encourages teamwork and enables easy collaboration.

Smartphones Connectivity: Most VoIP service providers also provide applications that can be installed on smartphones, be it iOS, Android, or Windows.

Messaging: One of the core features of VoIP is text messaging. Because of messaging, staff can easily communicate with each other and their target customers over text messaging or chats.


CRM Integration: VoIP offers CRM (Customer relationship management) integration that increases productivity using the deeply integrated workflow.

How does VoIP work?

The working process of VoIP is almost the same as that of a traditional or regular phone, but unlike the means of telephone wires, VoIP uses an Internet connection to deliver services. It typically converts voice input into multiple data packets that travel over the Internet like other digital data (e.g., text, pictures, documents, etc.). If the receiver is using a regular phone, the signals are converted back into telephone audio signals before being delivered to the receiver.

Packets of voice/sound data travel instantaneously over a public or private Internet network while being routed from sender to receiver. Nowadays, any landline and mobile phone that can connect to the Internet may be used to make and accept VoIP calls. In addition, a computer system with an Internet connection, mic, speakers, and VoIP software works best for VoIP calls.

VoIP Full Form: How VOIP works

Note: Since VoIP technology uses an internet connection instead of analog telephone lines, there may be the same lags or delays that the other digital data face when the internet bandwidth is negatively capped or decreased.

Equipment required for VoIP

Specifically, a typical VoIP connection requires computer systems, VoIP applications, fiber optic, and Internet/broadband connectivity. The VoIP applications (software) environment allows users to use dialer and other typical tools directly on the computer. However, the computer must have a microphone and speakers to establish voice communication between the sender and the receiver.
Additionally, special VoIP phones or traditional phones with adapters can be attached to ease of operation.

VoIP Protocols and Standards

The endpoints of VoIP mainly take advantage of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) standard codecs. Various specifically designed codecs are also used. Some essential VoIP protocols and standards are explained below:

711: It is one of the common standards used for transmitting uncompressed packets.

729: It is another common standard used mainly for compressed packets.

TCP: TCP, short of Transmission Control Protocol, typically breaks down any particular message into multiple smaller packets. Moreover, the Internet Protocol (IP) takes control of sending and the delivery of packets throughout the call.

ITU T.38: This protocol mainly helps in sending faxes over a VoIP network in real-time. This way, it takes part in non-voice communications.


RTP: RTP, short of Real-Time Protocol, is a user-level protocol that mainly helps to encapsulate data into packets time-stamped containing relevant information in order to provide proper playback of audio. It comes into play after the voice has been encapsulated into the Internet Protocol (IP).

SRTP: SRTP, short of Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol, works similar to the RTP, but in an encrypted way.

SIP: SIP, short of Session Initiation Protocol, is a signaling protocol that helps to initiate, maintain and terminate the real-time sessions.

248: It is a typical protocol used to describe a Gateway Control Protocol that further helps in defining an architecture to create multimedia applications.

323: It is one of the signaling protocols that help in controlling and managing calls.

XMPP: XMPP, short of Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol, is mainly used to maintain contact lists, instant messaging, and presence information.

SCCP: SCCP, short of Skinny Client Control Protocol, is another common signaling and control protocol that helps establish communication between IP devices and Cisco Unified Communications Manager. It is a Cisco Systems proprietary and also known as 'Skinny'.

SDP: SDP, short of Session Description Protocol, mainly takes part in initiation as the announcement of sessions during multimedia communications and WebSocket transports.


Popular VoIP Service Providers

Some of the popular VoIP service providers or vendors are listed below:

RingCentral MVP
Ooma Office
8x8 X Series
GoToConnect
Dialpad
Aircall
Nextiva
AT&T Business
VoIPHorizon
Microsoft Teams Phone, etc.

Advantages of VoIP

Following are some of the common advantages of VoIP:

VoIP technology provides additional features and services compared to traditional phones. For example, call recording, forwarding, queue, custom caller ID, voicemail over email, etc.

With VoIP, we can save on telephone line costs. This means that we can only pay for the broadband connection while getting the benefit of internet and telephone calls.

Using VoIP, users can make calls using their computers, VoIP phones, or even traditional phones with associated adapters. These multiple connectivity options increase productivity in business operations.


VoIP takes advantage of uncompressed data to produce better audio or voice quality.

VoIP charges are comparatively lower than the traditional phone/landline bills, especially for long calls and international calls.

VoIP is comparatively more secure than traditional calls.

VoIP provides integration capability with other relevant applications.

VoIP uses a single network, the Internet, to carry voice or data without the need for wires.

Disadvantages of VoIP

Following are some of the common disadvantages of VoIP:

Some VoIP services do not work during a power outage and the service providers are not even successful in providing backup power. This interrupts the calling.

Some VoIP vendors do not allow direct contact with emergency services, which can take extra time for proper communication in an emergency and result in casualties.

Since VoIP technology requires high-speed internet to maintain voice quality, call quality tends to degrade with slow connections.

Not all VoIP service providers offer directory assistance or white page listings.

Since VoIP works over the Internet, there are cyber threats and security risks.


Summary

VoIP (stands for Voice over Internet Protocol) is a technology primarily designed to provide phone services over the Internet. There are many VoIP service providers and the features may differ from one to the other. However, the fundamental workings are the same for everyone. Instead of typical analog telephone lines, VoIP allows calls to be made over Internet Protocol networks.




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