Many VOIP companies have come about in the past 5 years because there is need for a new telephone communication system. Let’s take a look at the differences between VOIP and conventional PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) services.
Conventional telephone PSTN service is based on a wired network with hardware switching. It uses hardware such as telephone lines, switching centers, cell-towers and hardware telephones. Cost of equipment and personnel is high so product cost is high for the consumer. Phone companies have been researching VOIP because it will someday replace the conventional PSTN phone system. Phone companies also use VOIP and to supplement their network and some even offer VOIP service though is usually pricy.
Conventional PSTN does have it’s advantages. Since it is hard-wired it is less likely to go out in a disaster but phone lines would also be overloaded. In disasters the military and government take control of communications and keep them open for official disaster communications. In a small power outages PSTN telephones can still work where an Internet connection probably won’t.
VOIP has less equipment cost since it is computer operated it has more features than a conventional PSTN telephone. The VOIP Device or handset is a SoftPhone, a software program, that operates with any smart device connected to the Internet. VOIP uses very little resources so making calls while you are also on the same computer is not an issue. Any SmartPhone or tablet can run simple software applications (apps) and use WiFi, so you probably won’t need to buy hardware, and Zoiper is free. Usually the only cost involved is the connection to the VOIP server.
PSPN VOIP is Internet wide so calling someone on the other side of the world is like calling next door when both use VOIP. With VOIP you can make and receive calls from conventional PSTN phones. When connecting to a PSTN phone there is a termination fee for the connection to the that PSTN phone company. PSPN treats all calls within US48 and Canada as local calls at $0.02 per minute. PSPN does not charge for minutes when both use the same VOIP Network. PSPN also offers overseas connections though the fee will vary depending on the country. You can check fees by logging into your account portal and also view your call history and charges.
VOIP can utilize other protocols including video. Skype has developed it’s own protocol that offers video but uses more resources and both caller and receiver need it to make the call. PSPN VOIP does not use video as it would limit it’s use as a telephone system. People you call only need to pick up the phone to talk with you.