Going Mobile with VoIP
Transferring the benefits of VoIP to regular mobile phones has been a battle of compromise from the beginning though it's now getting easier with each passing year. As cell phones become more and more like regular computers, the gap between what's possible and what's deliverable has been shrinking.
An example of this is the iPhone. Though it has a huge presence in the market, its limitations till date have held it back from being a powerful VoIP enabler. There is of course an inherent conflict of interest here since VoIP helps reduce traditional phone bills dramatically by using the Internet which comes in an "all you can eat" sort of package. Therefore a company like AT&T isn't exactly thrilled about the iPhone being used for VoIP over their Edge network.
However, there is progress here as well. Apple recently announced that its Skype application would work over Edge and not only Wifi. Factors such as net neutrality and regulatory watchdogs are there to ensure that anti competitive practices are nipped in the bud.
Another problem is the fact that the iPhone currently doesn't allow multi tasking. Even the latest iPhone 4 only creates an illusion of multitasking, but doesn't truly have the capability that other smartphones such the Android have had from the beginning. Android smartphones on the other hand can make use of full fledged mobile VoIP features.
What can be done with Mobile VoIP?
Mobile VoIP works by installing an application called an SIP client on your mobile phone. This application listens on the Internet for calls on your number and then pops up just like a traditional phone application when you receive a call. Recent advances have allowed these applications to seamlessly switch to wi fi networks when they're in range and use the standard wireless Internet access of the mobile phone when they're not.
Users can make calls and even use features such as extension to extension dialing. Depending on your SIP client, almost all features that are available on traditional VoIP phones are available on a cell phone.
VoIP therefore proves itself to be a great business phone service that is changing the way we communicate. Increases in broadband speed and the greater ubiquity of wireless networks means that the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for VoIP is on a downward spiral. When you're at home for example, you can use your wifi connection to your hearts content and not pay anything extra! The future is exciting - and mobile VoIP is at the heart of it.
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