VoIP Taking Over the Telecom World

( [email protected] ) May 25, 2004 07:55 AM EDT

Michael Powell, chairman of the US telecoms regulator says that the “world will change now inevitably” as “Voice-over-IP” (VOIP) offers cheap voice calls over the internet. Interest in VOIP has been skyrocketing with millions of people signing up for service globally.

VoIP uses a data network and converts the voice signal from the telephone into a digital signal that travels over the internet then converts it back at the other end so users can speak to anyone with a regular phone number. VoIP may also allows for calling directly from a computer using a conventional telephone or a microphone.

Because Internet Voice is digital, it may offer features and services that are not available with a traditional phone. As long as there is a broadband internet connection, there is additional cost to maintain a line just to make phone calls.

Many Internet Voice plans allows users to make calls to anywhere in the world for an unlimited amount of time, provided the person has an internet connection. Multiple chat functions also come without any additional cost.

The growing usage of high-speed broadband internet lines is helping propel VoIP into the mainstream. Advances in technology means that the call quality often matches or even surpasses that of conventional phone lines.

In a new report, research firm Frost & Sullivan says that there will be explosive growth in North American residential VOIP and it predicts that sales in VOIP products will grow from $9 million last year to $700 million in 2007.

“Ultimately, we’re all going to be using SIP phones or IP phones because that’s just the way the world’s going to go,” Arnold, a Frost & Sullivan analyst says.

The firm predicts that the number of residential VOIP subscribers in the U.S. and Canada will rise from 100,000 last year to 12 million in 2007.