Voice over Internet Protocol – VoIP is a technique of transmission of speech sound via Internet links or dedicated IP networks. Data is transmitted with IP protocol
IP telephony (VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol) is the only growing subsegment of the fixed line telephony market. Services provided on the basis of IP telephony can be divided into several types:
- online messengers – software installed on PCs, telephones (smartphones) or tablets to enable communication between users through sending text messages and frequently voice or video calls. To use the service, one needs Internet access (typically WiFi), an end terminal (a PC, telephone or tablet) and appropriate software. The most popular messenger worldwide is Skype (however, it implements an old codec to compress voice packages in H.323 technology, causing deterioration of service quality).
- services available via public Internet – to use the service, you need Internet access and an appropriate device:
- IP telephone (IP terminal) – i.e. a telephone which you can connect to the Internet,
- VoIP gate – a sort of converter between the IP network (Internet) and a traditional fixed phone,
- “Soft phone” (software phone) – software you can use on a PC, mobile phone or tablet, allowing you to make voice calls via the Internet. A soft phone is a kind of messenger, with functionality limited to phone calls.
- traditional voice services in which VoIP protocol is used within the Operator’s network to transmit voice – from the user’s perspective, these are no different than ordinary (traditional) voice services based on PSTN (analogue line, ISDN BRA, etc.). Some more advanced functions may not be available.
The qualities which are common for the services of the first and the second group include (other than the IP protocol): lower cost of service (lower subscription fees and call prices) and more extensive functionality than in conventional telephony (e.g. abbreviated numbering, flexible forwarding, DISA/IVR services, welcome messages, using the phone from any location worldwide with an Internet access, and many others).
The services provided by LoVo represent the second group – services provided via public Internet.
In recent years, IP telephony services have gained more and more popularity in the territory of Poland. SIP phone services are somehow by definition the domain of VoIP operators. This is because VoIP operators typically do not have their own access network and they take advantage of the fact that SIP Phone is a service executed via the Internet and therefore can be provided to any customer using an Internet access service.