What is a VoIP Gateway?
VoIP and PSTN gateways transmit and translate voice data into forms that telephone networks can understand so different parts of a network can be joined together or so two completely distinct networks can interact. With help from a VoIP or PSTN gateway, you can use existing infrastructure for your phone service or you can get started with new service from a VoIP vendor.
In this article, you can read more about how VoIP gateways work and find out how your organization can use them to take advantage of existing phone infrastructure. Learn more about the benefits of having the right gateways for your enterprise phone service and begin connecting to better communications technologies for your business.
What is a VoIP Gateway?
VoIP gateways allow businesses relying on VoIP phone service to access phone calls from the main public telephony networks. Landline phones transmit signals over legacy business phone connections and digital connections---for instance, T1 lines in the United States or PRI/E1 lines in Europe---and companies don't have to give up these wired connections in order to use VoIP. In fact, using a VoIP gateway with your T1 connection can actually provide you with better service in some instances, particularly if you already have the T1 line installed and hope to benefit from existing infrastructure.
Here are two types of VoIP gateways that are available on the market:
- Analog VoIP gateway: These analog gateways are helpful for connecting traditional analog landline connections to newer, Internet-based phone service via VoIP.
- Digital VoIP gateway: This is the type of gateway you need for connecting T1 lines, PRI/E1 lines, and BRI ISDN lines to your VoIP system.
The gateway itself connects to either the lines or the phone system and then enables VoIP communications to travel. The number of gateways needed depends on how many lines, users, and system volumes your phone system experiences. You may need to take a careful look at how your phone system is currently structured and how you plan to adjust and adapt it, if at all, to any changes you anticipate in your phone usage.
What is a PSTN Gateway?
PSTN gateways are hardware designed to translate communications between the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) and a business phone system's hardware. These gateways represent the point on the network at which the PSTN stops and the business phone network starts. As such, they must be prepared to translate and transmit communications between the two networks for the number of users and the amount of traffic they are designed to serve.
Essentially, PSTN gateways may serve the same purpose as VoIP gateways do, depending on how the networks are established, structured, and used.
How Do Gateways Work?
Gateways stand at the link between different phone systems and serve as an interface. Generally, this occurs between the public phone network and the enterprise phone system. They can translate communications, generally to SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) from the communications used on the main network.
Using their own protocol or language, gateways reshape the information they receive and transmit it onward through the network, acting as mediators between two networks or parts of networks.
Getting Started with VoIP
To get started with VoIP service for your enterprise, you will need to evaluate the infrastructure you already have and find out how VoIP phone service can be a better fit for your needs. You'll need a plan for how you'll implement the service and make adjustments to your infrastructure.
A top VoIP vendor can help you determine your priorities, budget, and network configuration to start receiving and using VoIP service.
VoIP and PSTN Gateways for Your Organization
VoIP and PSTN gateways work by serving as an interface between networks. They help translate data and information from one source into a form the other network can understand, then the gateways transmit the data along on its way to the right recipient.
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