Most of the business entities use multimedia and voice communication services over the Internet.
They use the terms Internet or Broadband Telephony, IP Telephony that refers to the communication over the public internet instead of the public switched telephone network.
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP is much similar to our traditional digital telephony mechanism and the only difference is the medium of transmitting signals.
What are VoIP Services?
- As discussed in the introduction part, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the telephony methodology like the traditional one but in which the digital information or signals are being converted into packets called IP packets and are transmitted over Packet-Switched Network
- VoIP has been implemented over several open and proprietary protocols such as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP), Secure RTP, Session Description Protocol(SDP), Extensible Message and Presence Protocol (XMPP).
- First-Generation VoIP providers have used Legacy Telephone Network, Second-Generation VoIP providers like Skype used the public switched telephone network (PSTN) that offer free calls benefits, Third-Generation VoIP like Google Talk has adapted the Packetized Voice Telephony (Federated VoIP).
- Video Calls
- Instant Messaging
- Better Sound Quality
- Voice integrated data transfer
Working of VoIP
- VoIP uses Codecs which encodes audio in Audio Codecs and video in Video Codecs.
- This encoded audio and video are then encapsulated in the packets.
- Then these packets are being transmitted over the IP network.
- At the end of the communication, the audio and video are decoded back into its original form.
Pros of VoIP Services
- No extra charges are involved other than the Internet for making calls, e-mails or for any communication that takes place over the Internet.
- VoIP helps to reduce the expenditure that is required to build network infrastructure.
- Easily portable, flexible and accessible.
- Easy to integrate with other mobile apps.
- One can also make Video conferencing call through VoIP.
- Reduces Communication time span and delays and increases the rate of interaction with the clients and co-workers.
- Helps to improve business productivity.
Cons of VoIP Services
- VoIP is 100% power and bandwidth dependent.
- Calls may lag or drop all the way.
- Though it is easy to access, it is less secure and reliable.
- Quality of the voice is uncertain.
So far, we have understood the core idea of VoIP along with its pros and cons. Now let’s explore some of the top VoIP internet phone providers for business and home use.
#1) Ooma Inc
Ooma Inc is a device-based VoIP service and public traded telecommunication company that offers VoIP calling over broadband (Internet) for small businesses and enterprises as well.
Headquarters: California, USA
Employees: 180 – 200
Core Services: Cloud-based Telephony, Home Security etc.
Products: Ooma Office as Enterprise Grade Phone Service, Ooma Enterprise for custom communication solution as per the business needs, Ooma Telo for pure and HD voice quality, Ooma Home as a Home Security Solution.
Clients: Kite Architects, Advanced Benefit Management System, AGA Displays and Fixtures, CSZ Portland, NY Studio LLC, Junger Media etc.
#2) RingCentral Office
Pricing: RingCentral Office starts at $19.99 per month per user. Free Trial is also available.
RingCentral Office offers cloud-based communication and collaboration solution for enterprise and small business purpose.
Headquarters: California, USA
Core Services: VoIP, Video Conferencing, Collaboration etc.
Products: RingCentral Meeting for Online Meeting, RingCentral Professional for running task from mobile devices, RingCentral Glip to improve collaboration, and RingCentral Fax for Mobile Online Faxing.
Clients: Google, Microsoft, Pacific Dental Services, Medallia, Box, Structural Group, Okta, Brinker, World Vision, PGA etc.
Pricing: Nextiva Office starts from $19.95 per month with no setup fees (May change according to features and versions). Nextiva Contact Center starts at $50 per month and Nextiva SIP Trunking starts at $14.95.
Nextiva is a VoIP protocol company that provides cloud-based communication for small and medium businesses, mid-market and enterprise. It provides service in healthcare, logistics, retail, insurance, real estate, government sectors etc.
Headquarters: Scottsdale, USA
Employees: 2000 – 2270
Core Services: Internet VoIP Services, Business Phone System, Cloud-based communication etc.
Products: VoIP voice solutions, Service CRM the multichannel customer support software, Chat for customer chat, Survey for online survey, Analytics the business intelligence software, vFAX the cloud-based virtual fax software etc.
Clients: Netflix, Burger King, IBM, Allstate, Revel Systems, Target, and Conan.