Essential Guide to Voice Over IP

Yona F. Maro

Nov 2, 2006
Essential Guide to Voice Over IP

Voice over IP (VoIP) is a means of sending voice communication through the Internet. Instead of the traditional telephone, which uses copper wires to transmit conversations, VoIP technology uses optical wires to transmit voice, which has traditionally transmitted data or computer information. These days, execution of the VoIP technology is easy unlike five years ago, and this article will tell you all about it.

Companies implement VoIP because of the following reasons:

1. Huge savings in their network operations costs as well as maintenance. Because VoIP uses existing LAN/ WAN equipment, cabling and set-up, there is very minimal need for new equipment. Having only a single system for voice and data allows for simplified management and administration.

2. Speedy implementation of the service. With VoIP, you use open, adaptable, and simultaneous execution of PSTN-type services using IP-based protocols and technologies.

How Does VoIP Work?

Digitization is the first step in the process of VoIP. Then, unwanted voice signals are compressed. Compression has two stages. First, the system determines if the digitized info contains legitimate voice or only ambient noise. If noise is detected, it is discarded. Next, complex algorithms are used to decrease the size of information being sent. Noise is suppressed and voice streams are optimized using codecs.

After compression, voice must be put in chunks called packets simultaneously adding VoIP protocols. Storage occurs in the process, while the transmitter is waiting for voice data being collected before being formed into a packet. Signals are added to the packet to ease the transmission. Because IP is a set of rules that interconnect networks, the smaller the network, the more steps is required to interconnect them. The addressing system has a tendency to be complicated, requiring the interconnection of packets within packets and goes through a series of processes as it moves through cyberspace.

When finally the packet arrives, its placement is checked to proper sequencing. A decompression procedure restores data to its original structure, while time-related techniques ensure proper sequencing. Because data goes through the Net through different routes, they don't necessarily arrive in the same order as was sent. To correct the situation, incoming packets are momentarily piled while waiting for the delayed packets. How long the data are momentarily stored depends on the network set-up.

In IP networks, a percentage of the packets can be lost or delayed, especially in periods of congestion. Also, some packets are discarded due to errors that occurred during transmission. Lost, delayed, and damaged packets result in a substantial deterioration of voice quality. In traditional error-correction techniques, arriving chunks of data with errors are eliminated, and the receiving computer requests to resend the packet; thus, the message that is finally delivered to the user is exactly the same as the message that originated. As VoIP systems are time-sensitive and cannot wait for retransmission, more sophisticated error detection and correction systems are used to create sound to fill in the gaps. This process stores a portion of the incoming speaker's voice and then, using a complex algorithm to copy the contents of the missing packets. Thus, new sound information is created to enhance the communication and the sound heard at the receiving end is not exactly the sound transmitted, but an enhanced version of it.

Because of the reduction in on-going costs and maintenance, most companies with excess LAN capacity are resorting to VoIP solutions. Shouldn't you be thinking about it?

Ivan Cuxeva Jr. is the owner of Voip Document, the best VoIP information resource. Learn what is Voip and how VoIP works. Visit us @ VoipDocument dot com.
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