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VoIP – Bringing Flexibility to the Telephone

Updated on February 7, 2012

PSTN - An Outdated System

Despite the dramatic technological improvements we have seen in electronic communications over the past few decades, few if any have truly touched the PSTN telephone system. Perhaps the biggest revolution we have seen so far is the move to mobile phones from land lines. Unfortunately, this new mode of communication hasn't changed the fundamentals and remains shackled by several old paradigms which are grotesquely out of place in today's world. VoIP is an attempt to change that and bring all the flexibility of the Internet to our communications – regardless of whether it is a landline or cell phone.

Take the simple example of voicemail. One struggles to comprehend why the telecom companies have simply not enhanced the management of voicemail. Users are still forced to navigate through their voicemails sequentially, they cannot download them as MP3 files, and they cannot store them for future reference or carry their voicemails with them from device to device. This is hardly a grave technological challenge. It just hasn't been implemented. Another great example is the continuing popularity of the telephone number. Without doubt, this is an outdated way to address someone. It's as absurd as typing in a web address in the form of IP number rather than in human readable text. Humans simply do not remember numbers as well as words. There's no context. Isn't it about time we replaced the telephone number with something closer to an e-mail address?

VoIP with SIP
VoIP with SIP

VoIP Brings Much-Needed Change

VoIP promises to change all this – and more. As an application that is based off the Internet, it inherits its underlying strengths from the World Wide Web. Flexibility. Scalability. Cost-effectiveness. When viewed dispassionately, there is no way that any business would ever choose to retain their traditional PSTN system rather than move to VoIP. And since most businesses are in the profitability game, it's not surprising that VoIP has seen unprecedented adoption amongst firms and corporations. People however are another matter. They like to hold on to old ways of doing things and find comfort in familiarity. It's probably one of the reasons why VoIP has been relatively slow to take off amongst the general populace.

But change is inevitable. We are already seeing cracks appear as the telecom companies slowly begin to open up their devices to VoIP communications. New and innovative startups are promising to overturn the old model and give people a new way, a cheaper way, to communicate. VoIP takes the best of e-mail and transfers that to voice data. Contact a reliable SIP provider or ITSP today to find out how you can create your own SIP account and get started with the VoIP revolution today.

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      Kieran Gracie 

      6 years ago

      I really like the idea of exchanging telephone numbers for a more human-friendly system, and I think that it is (slowly) coming. It is not just the human resistance to change, as you infer, bhagwad, but also the deeply embedded phone number system. These numbers are in every company's documentation, website, business cards, database, etc, etc. They will probably shrivel up and die, like fax numbers, but I think it will still take a few years. And, as you say, there needs to be a better system taking over. Perhaps VoIP is that system.

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