What is VoIP Over Wi-Fi Network
While VoIP and Wi-Fi are two different technologies, together, they create a powerful communications combination. With Wi-Fi, mobile phones can be used for VoIP calls, allowing employees to roam the office without being tied to their desks. Let's look at how this technology works in more detail.
Understanding VoIP Over Wi-Fi Network
VoIP allows you to use an IP-based phone to make voice calls over the internet, which often can be a regular telephone that uses a VoIP adapter. Analog phone signals are converted to digital in the adapter, making the phone appear as an IP-based phone.
If the recipient of the call is using a purely IP-based phone, a conversion back to analog isn't necessary. Moreover, a purely IP-based phone is digital and doesn't use any regular telephone lines. If the receiver is also using an analog phone, the signal must be converted from digital back to analog.
With Wi-Fi, you can use VoIP with your mobile phone, which allows for mobility. More on this a little later.
Why Do You Need It?
Companies regularly use VoIP in place of regular phone lines, as the former is typically more cost-effective. To allow employees to use their smartphones for VoIP calls, VoIP needs to be connected to the Wi-Fi network. While there are various ways to accomplish this, each style has varying quality. They include:
- VoIP app on your smartphone that's also connected to a Wi-Fi network
- QoS Wi-Fi router that prioritizes VoIP data
- Modem plus QoS router for VoIP connectivity
- VoIP adapter connected to a Wi-Fi router
As you can see, with the solutions mentioned above, nothing has changed for the mobile phone; it just needs VoIP software and connectivity to a Wi-Fi network.
Still, there are limitations to using VoIP over Wi-Fi. Firstly, it only works within the range of the Wi-Fi router. In other words, you will only receive connectivity within the residence or office in which the router is located. That doesn't mean it can't be used while traveling. With a mobile hotspot, your smartphone can continue using VoIP.
What About Call Quality?
Voice quality can be a big issue with VoIP Wi-Fi networks. As you go beyond the Wi-Fi network's range, the signal degrades, which can be problematic for voice data streams that require a strong signal in order to work. But even if you're within the Wi-Fi network's range, quality can still be spotty, which is often the result of using a standard router experiencing degradation.
Meantime, a standard Wi-Fi router can serve as an all-purpose router, but it won't be able to distinguish between different types of data. If you're surfing the web and uploading or downloading a large file, the two tasks will compete for limited bandwidth — and this issue is exacerbated if you're simultaneously on a voice call. The large file will eat up bandwidth needed by the voice data stream, and you'll immediately notice call quality degradation and perhaps complete disconnection.
There are limited settings on routers that allow you to dedicate space for voice data. The problem, though, is that this space remains static. If you aren't using it, it's still blocked off. Even your voice data is using only 25 percent of this dedicated space, the router won't be able to make any adjustments for improved efficiency.
However, investing in a quality of service (QoS) Wi-Fi router will make a big difference in Wi-Fi VoIP. Because QoS is dynamic and able to prioritize voice data, it can allocate the right amount of space for streaming voice data traffic. For example, if a download is occurring while a voice call is in progress, the voice call will receive priority. All the while, the caller and recipient don't notice any decrease in call quality, even with all of the other data traffic activity.
Before Wi-Fi networks were in fashion and popularized, VoIP calls had to be made while sitting at a computer. But with the proliferation of mobile phones and improvements in Wi-Fi network technology, it has become possible to use your mobile phone to make VoIP calls. So, if you want to remove yourself from sitting at a computer while enjoying the advantages of VoIP, utilizing Wi-Fi with VoIP will provide the best of both worlds.
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