Using VoIP over WiFi in "Dual Mode"
VoIP and WiFi
Technology tends to spread to whatever it can lay its hands on. Once it gets started, sooner or later it's always taken to its logical conclusion. A case in point is VoIP. Originally meant to utilize an Internet connection to send voice data, it's now become prevalent to the point where it's seriously cutting into the revenue of regular PSTN phone systems.
The latest threat from VoIP is Voice over Wifi - or as it's sometimes called VoWifi. This essentially means that regular users make use of their wifi networks to initiate voice calls. Prior to this, most home users had to rely on their home computers or laptops to connect to the Internet and speak using a headphone cum microphone. Needless to say, this was restricted to only a few users since hardly anyone likes to be latched down like this.
However, with the prevalence of wifi routers, lots of homes now use their Internet connection to provide wifi to the entire house. Freed from this restriction, it was only a matter of time before innovation dictated that there must be a way to use VoIP as with a regular phone.
Most users pay huge bills for their cordless home phones. Paying $45 a month is hardly uncommon and it's precisely these services that are ripe for the picking. Using a VoIP hosted phone system, it can be easy to replace your regular phone and make regular calls for a tithe.
VoIP "Dual Mode" Phones
Hardware is easily available these days that can connect to VoIP using a wifi VoIP phone. These will ask you to type in your host details depending on the model. The phone can also be hardwired to connect to a certain provider such as Skype. As such, they're a perfect replacement for regular cordless phones which can't be used outside the house anyway.
However, what's really exciting is the advent of "Dual mode" phones. These babies allow you to seamlessly switch between VoIP and regular GSM networks depending on the availability of Wifi connections. This means that you only use your minutes when you're outside a wifi network and that's usually only in your car. Even places like McDonald's have free wifi these days and this makes your phone calls so cheap that you can talk for hour and hours without being able to even notice the charges.
Though the technology for these phones is in flux and there are still standards being worked out, it's quite obvious that these phones are the future. More and more regular phones are being built with native dual mode support and soon, talking on your phone could get a hell of a lot cheaper!