Utilities exploding on the PC and corporate sectors.
Examples are net2phone, skype, dialpad, sipphone. (links are on the right top corner) In addition to this traditional telecom companies like sprint, at&t and all such telecom companies are offering unlimited calling to DSL based Internet users for a monthly fee.
There are many advantages to the internet telephony compared to the traditional calling. However the chief among them is the cost of the service which is much cheaper than the traditional approach. However voice quality and reliability issues remain.
Microsoft may be bringing Internet telephony in its new OS.
Messengers we discussed under this section also has integrated calling of any phone from within the messenger and Microsoft in its new upcoming desktop OS is touted to have VOIP built into it.
That move has the capacity to move world’s phone calling the PC from the telephone.
What will I need to make calls from my PC?
All you need is to ensure that your PC is connected to the Internet, has multimedia capability like speakers and microphone besides having something called a ‘duplex’ card. Then you will need a subscription from a PC-to-phone service provider.
Who will provide this service?
You will need to buy time from an Internet service provider or a telephone company to make national and international calls. Indian ISPs are in a flurry to offer the PC-to-phone service along with the regular Internet connection.
What are the advantages of Internet telephony?
Cheaper rates. Currently, while the price for a telephone call to the US is $1 a minute, it could drop to 10 cents a minute or even lower! Even prices of domestic long distance calls within the country will come tumbling down.
For corporate houses too, Internet telephony applications can be used on intranets to reduce phone bills drastically.
What are the disadvantages of Internet telephony?
While the quality of Internet telephony calls has improved over the years, the biggest drawback of these calls will be a perceptible delay during conversation. VoIP needs high bandwidth, something the ISPs are not in a position to supply immediately. Unfortunately, India is rather bandwidth starved and with implementation of VoIP, telephone networks and switches will get severely clogged.
Conversation could also get garbled at times, as the Internet is more prone to losing parts of a message than a regular telephone network.
Next : Instant Messenger & VoIP