VOIP or IP telephony uses the internet to deliver voice communication. It is the modern replacement of PSTN (public switched telephone network) in the residential and corporate setting. Although many homes are now wired with fiber and coaxial, some internet service providers still support PSTN as a legacy communication. Fiber cables use light and coaxial cables use rf. Both use VOIP to translate light/rf into a voice signal. Service providers are using their wireless LTE infrastructure to deliver home phone service because legacy infrastructure is getting costly to maintain. These newer forms of voice communication are easy to maintain and are also scalable to larger organizations.
I personally have used VOIP phones at home, at work, and in the classroom setting. My home phone uses VOIP as my ISP is a cable provider. Our digital home phone is connected to a phone modem. The phone modem is assigned an IP and voice communication is delivered to the modem using the coaxial cable’s RF signal. The RF is then translated to a voice signal for my digital home phone. In a work-from-home setting, many people will use Cisco IP Communicator. This is because most people do not have a Cisco phone setup at home. IP Communicator is software created by Cisco to mimic all the features of a Cisco phone but on the computer. It is cheaper than purchasing and having a helpdesk/ISP technician install one physically. In my experience, Cisco’s IP communicator is very reliable and works well in a business environment.
I’ve spent around 20-30 hours working on VOIP phones in the classroom setting. Most of it has been with Cisco’s CUCM (Cisco Unified Communications Manager) and CIPC (Cisco IP Communicator). In the future I may create an indepth blog about them.
VOIP can be extremely scalable for large organizations. Most people working in an office will have a personal extension that a colleague or customer can call. By setting up a VOIP phone system at your workplace, everyone is able have a phone terminal on their desk. VOIP phones use ethernet cables to connect the phones and that infrastructure is already in place at many workplaces. I suspect most businesses in the future will utilize VOIP in some way.