In this article we are going to explain the difference between VoIP and IP telephony. The majority of IT professionals use these terms to refer to the same type of service. There is however a subtle difference according to many Telecommunication experts in the industry. We will explain each of these below, as the differences are in fact very subtle.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. This is a set of standardised technologies that deliver voice calls that are sent over the internet or over a private IP-based network. With reference to IP Telephony, VoIP is in effect a subset of IP telephony that does not include other non-voice-based communication services, such as faxing or text messaging.
What is IP Telephony?
IP telephony includes all of the products and services that enable voice calling, voicemail, video calling, video conferencing, faxing, messaging etc. It uses IP packet-switched connections. Such information traditionally travels over the dedicated circuit-switched connections of the public switched telephone network (PSTN).
However, IP telephony technology converts calls, faxes and text messages into packets of data that travel across computer network lines, avoiding the costs of PSTN.
The simplest comparison between VoIP and IP Telephony is that VoIP refers only to voice, whereas, IP telephone covers the full range of Telecom services.
Why Should a Business Consider Using VoIP or IP Telephony?
For years business had to use a network for their telephone services, and a separate network for their Internet access and mail services. Typically, these were referred to as a voice network and a data network.
That has now changed thanks to voice and data convergence. Now a business only needs a single network that will deliver both phone services and LAN connectivity. There are clear benefits for a business in making this change. Those are:
- Lower costs
- A simplified infrastructure
- Much easier and faster to scale
VoIP or IP Telephony Risks
The only risk for moving to an IP telephony option is the quality of the network connection. Any IP service will rely on the quality of the Broadband connection. A poor- or low-quality connection can impact on call quality and if there is a Broadband outage, then the IP service will be lost completely.