Core Constituents of Small Business VoIP

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Author: James Allen

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It is now widely accepted that VoIP is a technological marvel that has redefined telecommunication. Businesses are increasingly opting for VoIP because of its numerous valuable features. There is enormous saving on call charges - both local as well as international. The VoIP technology has also made business communication easy by integrating voice, video and data too.

VoIP is indeed a complex technology and it is consists of a host of components that come together to do their function. However, by attempting to know its core constituents and how they function, you may obtain a basic understanding of the technology. Please know there are four essential constituents in VoIP technology.

Signaling Gateway Controller (SGC) or Media Gateway Controller (MGC) - Please know that SGC or MGC are the vital organs of VoIP system. They are responsible for controlling calls. In VoIP, the SGC facilitates connection of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) realm to the Internet Protocol (IP) realm.

SGC is vibrant as it handles multiple tasks simultaneously. Some of its functions include - Signaling System, Voice call control protocols support, Media control protocols support, Call Detailed Records (CDR) generation and Bandwidth management control.

Media Gateway (MG) - Then, there is the media gateway whose purpose is to convert digital media streams from one telecommunication network to a different one. In VoIP system, MG translates the data that comes from PSTN to IP and vice versa.

Media Server (MS) - It can assume the form of an appliance or software and it is used for supporting additional features such as video or voicemail etc. Its additional purpose is for transmission of other data like announcements, special tones etc.

Application Server - As is known to many, an application server offers a platform to facilitate various applications to function. It may not be inapt to describe Application Server as the brain of the VoIP. General and customized services are also provided on application server. Its main functions include offering support to customized private dialing plans, providing standard features such as call waiting, call transfer, voicemail etc and many other advanced features.

Apart from the functions detailed above, VoIP and management is another critical part of any business VoIP. Individuals aspiring to become telecom carriers must have a thorough understanding of each of the components of VoIP. Switching, billing and routing capabilities are what determine the success of any telecom carrier.

The other core components of VoIP system are:

Phones - The phones or the actual desk units needed to communicate Operating the phone is known to all. They know how to dial, how to answer and the protocols for using it. The standard phone instrument has 12 buttons on a dial pad, a handset to talk to and a way to plug it in.

Connections - Then you need the connections. Any business house will need some form of connecting mechanism to allow for extensions, connecting several calls simultaneously to the phone system and sharing lines. To share lines you require a switching system to ensure that all employees/departments get connected correctly.

Broadband Service - You must have a reliable broadband Internet access and termination of telephone calls into and out of the PSTN. To fulfill this need you must have a good service provider. Finally, you will need an analog telephone adapter (ATA) and soft switches to connect two ends of a call.

VoIP and management is another critical part of any VoIP business. Individuals aspiring to become telecom carriers must have a thorough understanding of each of the components of VoIP.

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