A new telecommunications technology, which uses the Internet for voice data transmission is shrinking the world, making it easier for people all over the world to communicate. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony has taken the world by storm since its invention in the mid 1990s, and more companies and individuals are discovering the cost and service benefits available with this technology. VoIP sends voice communications over the Internet by compressing them into voice data packets but VoIP signals can also be decoded and fed into public service telephone networks (PSTN) by using hardware known as gateways.
These gateways make it possible for VoIP users to call anyone anywhere, and because the use of airtime on PSTNs is kept to a minimum, the cost of log distance is much lower. There are several carrier services of VoIP telephony worldwide, and these carriers of international VoIP are often working together to expand the use of VoIP telephony. The essential element in using VoIP is broadband Internet service. If broadband service is available, then a gateway can be installed to decode VoIP voice data packets and connect them with the PSTN. However, placing a gateway in every country would be a costly proposition for any carrier of international VoIP signals.
By working together and forming affiliations, carriers of international VoIP are able to use each other’s gateways, expanding service worldwide while reducing the need for costly infrastructure. Carriers of international VoIP telephony are able to pass these savings on to their direct clients by offering long distance rates that are often less than half the cost of regular long distance. Aside from infrastructure, the other major cost that these carriers of international VoIP avoid is to have to lease airtime on costly PSTN links.
In fact, because VoIP offers much greater bandwidth carriers of international VoIP telephony often lease airtime to PSTNs. This means that a growing number of international calls placed via PSTN are actually carried over the Internet without the caller ever knowing. International VoIP carriers also sell airtime to companies that offer prepaid long distance cards. By working together, international VoIP carriers are making sure that VoIP service grows and becomes profitable all over the world. In much the same way that public telephone companies and nation-states did over 100 years ago, carriers of international VoIP telephony are expanding the global telecommunications network. However, these carriers of international VoIP services are not stringing telephone wires or laying cable on the ocean floor. Instead, they are using the Internet - the worldwide, vast information network - to bring the world closer together.