What is VoIP in New York?
VoIP refers to Voice over Internet Protocol. This is a group of technologies that enables the transmission of telephony services over IP networks, most typically broadband internet connections. VoIP services can also be transmitted over local area networks (LANs).
What are VoIP and Internet Calls?
VoIP and internet calls are exchangeable words that describe using broadband internet connections to deliver telephone services. VoIP services are phone calls, video calls, and text messages transmitted from source to destination using the internet as the delivery medium. Video, audio, and text data are converted into IP packets for transmission instead of the circuit transmissions of the public switched telephone networks (PSTN).
How Do VoIP and Internet Calls Compare to Landline and Cell Phone Calls?
Landline technology transforms the sound waves from voice messages into electrical signals that are reformed back into sound waves at the recipients’ end. The electrical signals are transmitted along copper wires and through telephone exchanges to get from the source to the recipient.
Cell phone technology transforms the sound waves of voice messages into electrical signals that are converted back to sound waves when received. The signals are transmitted over radio waves and routed through base stations onto their destinations. The base stations connect to mast towers, which are tall fixed antennas that propagate the radio waves. This system allows for the same set of radio wave frequencies to be reused without interference, increasing the number of calls a mast can handle. It does this by creating grid patterns that enable each mast to collect and route calls from phones within its grid.
VoIP technology transforms sound waves into digital signals that are converted back to sound waves at the receivers’ end. The signals are transmitted over IP networks, most typically broadband internet connections. Custom-built telephones that connect directly to modems and routers through ethernet connections are used for VoIP calls. These IP telephones change the sound waves into digital signals using computer algorithms called CODECS. Softphones and ATAs (Analog Telephone Adapters) are other devices used to make VoIP calls. Softphones are software-based phones that enable telephone services on computers and web-based applications that function as hard phones. ATAs are adapters that connect to analog telephones, such as landlines, to facilitate VoIP calls.
VoIP calls offer the following advantages over landlines and cell phones:
- Low prices – The majority of VoIP connections occur in cyberspace, eliminating the expensive surcharges that telecoms companies levy on customers for network usage. VoIP customers also avoid the state and federal taxes associated with such network usage.
- Added Features – Features such as caller ID, call-waiting, and voicemail boxes that cost extra under regular telephony services are free with VoIP.
- Portability – Customers can create virtual presences that provide family and friends with local phone numbers that avoid long-distance charges to call and reach you.
- Reduced Operating Costs – VoIP systems are rooted in software which is far easier and less costly to maintain than the hardware used by regular telephone services.
- Scalability – VoIP systems can run multiple users through a single network socket, allowing enterprises with large numbers the ability to scale their networks efficiently.
- Multiple inbound numbers can be linked to the same device, and multiple devices can simultaneously use the same VoIP number. As such, businesses can assign individual employee phone lines without having to install and maintain private branch exchanges (PBXs).
It is also to use reverse phone lookup to identify subscribers registered to VoIP numbers.
Does New York Regulate VoIP Providers?
Yes. The Public Service Commission (PSC) regulates all telecommunication and broadband services in New York. Federal law places limited amounts of regulation on VoIP services. The New York Public Service Commission maintains the authority to regulate VoIP services as entailed by Section 91 of the Public Service Law.
What Do You Need for VoIP and Internet Calls?
You must have a broadband internet link to use VoIP services and make internet calls. Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) and Ethernet connections provide the best experiences for full VoIP packages, but other broadband connections will work. All other necessary equipment for a VoIP connection depends on your preferences.
Landlines – To use VoIP services on your landline, you need a compatible telephone and an ATA which plugs into a wall phone socket or a router. The router must be compatible with the telephone handset and the ATA.
Computers – To use VoIP services on your computer, you need appropriate VoIP software such as Google Talk, Facetime, and Skype installed on the computer. You will also need a microphone, headset, and speakers. Calls between parties using the same software are free, and calls to traditional phone numbers carry charges.
Smartphones – To use VoIP services on your smartphone, you need an appropriate VoIP application installed on the phone. Mobile phone apps such as WhatsApp, Facetime, Viber, Skype, and Facebook Messenger facilitate internet calls on smartphones. For free calls between parties, the same app must be installed on all the parties’ phones. Calls to regular landline and mobile phone numbers incur charges.
Are VoIP Numbers Different from Regular Phone Numbers?
Technically, a VoIP number is considered a real telephone number and it has the same 10 digits as a regular phone number. However, there are some fundamental differences from traditional phone numbers, including:
- A VoIP number is assigned to an individual user rather than a phone line or SIM card.
- A VoIP number can be used anywhere there is a broadband internet connection and is not restricted to a physical location.
- A VoIP number can be used on multiple devices simultaneously.
Can You Make Free Internet Calls?
Yes, you can make free internet calls. However, certain conditions must be met before this can happen. The essential requirement for free internet calls is a telephone application that makes free phone calls. There are four types of these applications that can facilitate free internet calls. These are:
- App To Phone – These applications make free internet calls from mobile devices such as smartphones to regular phone numbers. These services can call landlines and mobile phones that do not have the app installed.
- PC to Phone – These types of software make free internet calls from your PC to regular phone numbers.
- PC to PC – This involves installing compatible software on two separate computers that enable free phone calls from one computer to the other.
- App to App – These tools enable free internet calls between devices – smartphones and tablets- that have the same applications installed. This method does not work for devices that do not have a compatible application installed and cannot be used to call regular phone numbers.