How Does an Internet Telephone Call Work?

by Quinten Plummer

An Internet phone call is possible with the help of a technology called Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). Voice is sent over the same data lines that your broadband connection uses to send and receive data from the Internet.

The Internet protocol and hardware digitize your voice and breaks it down into small packets of data. The packets are routed the quickest way through public servers. The packets are then received at the other computer and are then assembled and converted to audio. A Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) will maintain a connection between the parties to facilitate a conversation.

Calls from IP phones to landline phones require the help of a VOIP phone company. The phone company converts the digital packet back to analog audio for the landline phone to receive. The phone company also handles the bandwidth and routing of the data packets to ensure that calls are crisp and clear.

An alternative to landline connections are wireless connections. Wi-Fi phones use the same packet technology to transmit packets of voice sent from Wi-Fi phones over a wireless network to a computer or a landline. Cell phones operating on a high speed wireless network can also utilize VOIP technology.

About the Author

Quinten Plummer began writing professionally in 2008. He has more than six years in the technology field including five years in retail electronics and a year in technical support. Plummer gained his experience in music by producing for various hip-hop acts and as lead guitarist for a band. He now works as a reporter for a daily newspaper.

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