IP Telephony and VoIP-Some Questions Asked

Is it worthy to implement an IP Telephony infrastructure in a business?

A company that is just starting out to implement a network infrastructure should think seriously to invest in VoIP and try to avoid the investment in other telephony infrastructure (e.g legacy PBX system) to support voice communications. Also, a firm that has already developed a network infrastructure and has operations in different locations which are connected together, should assess the benefits of implementing an IP Telephony solution by calculating costs and savings. Finally, a company that believes that future telephone needs will increase significantly or has high telephone traffic, should consider implementing solutions in VoIP.

How widespread is the use of IP telephony in enterprises

The truth is that despite the long presence of the VoIP technology, its penetration is not very widespread. According to In-Stat/MDR company, in 2004 VoIP was used only by 12% of U.S. businesses, a figure which is estimated to reach 70% this year. At international level the percentages are even lower. It is worth noting that large companies have the highest penetration. Factors related to delay the penetration of IP telephony are issues related to attitude (commitment to traditional technology), while clearly related with the technological immaturity of the technology in some places and the high cost of transition to IP platform. The technology is now mature enough and affordable, so it will also have higher rates of market growth compared to previous years.

Is IP Telephony only implemented at a corporate level?

The use of IP telephony is not just in the business environment. Firstly, several alternative telecommunications companies use the IP technology to provide telephony services. Also, many traditional telecommunications companies around the world consider the gradual replacement of their networks by packet switched networks, in an effort to make better use of their telecommunications infrastructure. You should not also ignore the great potential that the penetration of IP telephony has in the consumer level. A great indicator is the phenomenal success of the Skype service, which allows users to make free VoIP calls, as registered users of the service has exceeded 24 million. They have already made their appearance similar services in the market and it is clear that the future will be more promising with the increase in penetration of broadband Internet.

How secure are the telephone calls via VoIP ?

The fact that over the same network we have a variety of information transported, and the network serves many users, certainly raises security concerns and the possibility of interception of these telephone conversations. This possibility exists, as there is for the interception of any kind of information carried over the corporate network. However, in circumstances requiring increased security, there are technologies that can ensure the voice privacy with encryption. However, since this is affecting the performance of the entire telecommunications network, just as in the case of secure web pages, encryption is only recommended in cases where security is essential or when using a public communication network such as the Internet.

What can we expect in the future?

For the future we should consider as sure thing the increasing usage of packet data networks and especially IP-based networks for telephony. The trend is there also for big telecommunications companies which implement their backbone networks on such IP technologies but also for companies that build their network infrastructure for telephony. Also, as data networks and telephony will be consolidated, we will see more and more addressing protocols that enable us to send emails to and from landline telephones to call a user computer from our phone and vice versa, making the most out of the phone and the voice part of the communication network. In addition, a very important perspective is related to the deployment of IP telephony over wireless broadband networks. Although not considered a threat to other forms of telephony, it may find application in various fields of entrepreneurship.

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