Voice over IP, also called Internet Telephony, is the routing of voiceconversations over the Internet or any IP (Internet Protocol) network.VoIP can be used on any network connection, including ones
that do not have an Internet connection. VoIP has a number of
advantages and it is widely believed that this will replace the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network)—present telecom protocols.

Using VoIP, one can send and receive data files and messages and have a conversation at the same time. VoIP also supports conferencefacilities. However, the biggest advantage that VoIP has is the low calling cost and its ability to work on your existing hardware setup. Also, the functionality is based on a software (protocol),so constant upgrading of your system is not essential. But will VoIP be the next big killer app of the networked world? Not until a few niggling issues are ironed out.

VoIP-based communication Voice over IP is being touted as the new revolution in telephony and is reliant on your computer, broadband modem and other hardware that needs a constant power supply to keep running. In case of a power outage, you’d be left with no communication service. Traditional phone lines do not rely on the electric grid. Moreover, the nature of VoIP makes it difficult to geographically locate a user. This makes emergency calls an impossibility as of now, though ideas to fix this are being thought up. Sound quality is also inferior as compared to the conventional telephone lines due to the high compression techniques required to conserve bandwidth. Some of the more commonly used VoIP networks are Babble, BroadVoice and Skype. Skype is a free VoIP network that uses an IM-type client and has grown in popularity by leaps and bounds since its introduction.

The success of VoIP will depend on whether the issues regarding accessibility and voice quality are addressed. Also, major telecom companies have already pumped in billions of dollars into mobile networks. This will make them reluctant to switch to a new system. In fact, there is already a fight on to ensure that VoIP dies as soon as possible.

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