VoIP technology is on the move. As it continues to draw popularity new products and services are continually flooding consumers. Some of these products are hitting customers before rules and regulations can even be initiated for the technology as a whole. Yet VoIP continues to rise, and due to its wonderful cost efficiency remains a viable force in the telecommunications arena.
Some products and services applicable to VoIP technology are:
Instant Messaging with VoIP
Instant Messaging programs are embracing VoIP technology. The greatest advantage to Instant Messaging VoIP is that it remains one of the free VoIP products on the market. Simply visit your favorite Instant Messaging site and check for any new products labeled, “with voice” or “voice enabled” or “make phone calls”. All of this refers to VoIP. Programs such as Yahoo Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, and MSN all enable VoIP capabilities. Even Google has designed a new Instant Messaging- VoIP product.
We will continue to see the evolution of VoIP enabled products and services as this high demand technology continues to gain strength and momentum.
VoIP Service Providers for Telephone Needs
There are many new providers on the market that will supply your telecommunications needs. Many of the providers will offer you services and features that are normally included in your landline telephone services. Unlike standard telephone providers, these features are often included for free with your VoIP service. Because VoIP integrates many different technologies such as data, audio, video, and web applications you can benefit from the services provided with VoIP. Features such as Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Call Transferring, Voicemail, Do Not Disturb, and the ability to transfer your phone number are all included with your VoIP service. You will need to check with your individual VoIP service provider to find out what specific features are included with your service of choice.
Another feature included with many VoIP service providers is the ability to choose your area code. You may select from any area code within the United States, and some providers offer the ability to select an area code from other countries. This has many benefits for residential users and small businesses as well. If you have a lot of friends and family in a certain region, you can select an area code from their region, and they will be able to call you with local rates and not long distance rates.
For small businesses the ability to choose a specific area code is advantageous because they can use that phone number to attract business in certain locations.
Another new feature for VoIP users is the E-911 or Enhanced 911 program. Many users have had trouble in the past calling 911 from VoIP connections. Because VoIP utilizes a broadband Internet connection and not a standard landline, the Public Safety Answering Point Dispatcher does not readily see addresses and other important information; the FCC has instituted some rules and regulations regarding VoIP and 911.
To begin with, when purchasing VoIP services, you will be required to sign a statement that says you understand that your 911 services may be impaired by using VoIP. Some VoIP providers do not offer 911 services at all. Other providers will offer what is known as Enhanced 911. To use E-911 services, you may be required to first activate the 911 services. The most efficient way to use E-911 is to register your information with the Public Safety Answering system. They will take your name and physical address. That way, if you call 911, they won’t have your information readily available, but they will have it in their system. However, if you are out or away from your residence and call 911, your information will be useless. In a situation like that, you will need to clearly state your location. Your VoWiFi phone won’t reveal any of your local information, as a cellular phone will.
VoWi Fi Phones
Another product on the VoIP market today is the VoWi Fi phone. These are wireless phones that run on a VoIP network. They are fairly new to the market and are currently more expensive than the cost of a cellular phone. Though many major telephone companies such as Sprint, Vonage, and Verizon are creating VoWi Fi or hybrid- half Cellular half VoWi Fi phones.