Many consumers have heard of it: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The name sounds sort of tech-y, but also sort of obvious—the internet seems like it’s part of everything now, so why not phone service? What’s the big deal?
Also known as “internet telephony” or “IP telephony,” VoIP is an alternative way to make telephone calls, using the internet instead of the public telephone network. The technology has been around awhile; most phone companies already use VoIP behind the scenes to make their networks more efficient. But until recently, most telephone customers still used traditional phone lines the way they always had. Now, more people and businesses are switching to VoIP.
On the surface, making a phone call with VoIP is the same as with traditional telephone service: The caller picks up a phone handset and enters a number. On the other end, the person answers, and the two parties start talking. What’s happening under the surface, however, is entirely different.
VoIP Compared to Traditional Phone Service
In traditional telephone service, calls travel over a dedicated network called the public switched telephone network (PSTN). This network began as a collection of analog systems, but it is now digital and includes both copper wires and fiber-optic cables, communications satellites, microwave transmission systems and a host of other technologies. Over many years, the PSTN has grown away from its humble origins as a collection of poles, wires and switchboards, but it is still primarily built around the needs of transmitting voice signals.
The traditional phone system operates via a method called circuit switching that requires the connection, or circuit, to remain open for the duration of the call. Users can think of it as a 10-minute call using a constant 10-minute connection going in both directions. A long-distance call requires more circuits — going across the country or oversees — so it costs more to make.
The internet, on the other hand, is designed to transmit data very efficiently using a method called packet switching, in which data is broken into many tiny packets and sent as needed. VoIP uses less connection time — it only sends from the caller’s end when he or she is talking, since there is no need to transmit the caller’s silence when he or she is listening. A 10-minute call doesn’t require a constant 10-minute connection, so it is therefore much cheaper.
With FTC’s new VoIP plan, users get a great value.
One major benefit of using VoIP is free long-distance calling. FTC’s VoIP service provides unlimited calling within the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada.
Another part of FTC’s VoIP plan is the enhanced features that are included. Through the plan, customers receive all of the following:
- Call Waiting
- Caller ID Name/Number
- Voicemail to Email
- Anonymous Call Reject
- Automatic Call Return
- Automatic Redial
- Call Forward
- Call Forward Busy
- Call Forward No Answer
- Do Not Disturb
- Call Screening Reject
- Three-Way Calling
And all of this is available for one low price.
So if you haven’t reached out to FTC to find out what this new Voice plan will mean to you, give us a call at 888-218-5050 or stop by one of our seven stores. Those few minutes will mean a great calling experience and could mean more money in your pocket every month!
Join those who are already enjoying the benefits of VoIP!