PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network and is generally known as the traditional phone network. It has been connecting people since the late 19th century, at first over copper telephone lines and later using fibre optic cables, satellites, and undersea cables. All of these are interconnected by switching centres which establish a dedicated connection – or circuit – between callers.
Voice signals can then travel over this circuit. When the caller speaks into his handset, the caller’s phone translates the sound waves into electrical signals. These are transmitted over the PSTN (converted to optical signals for part of the way, so they can travel via fibre optic cables), and the phone at the other end of the line then translates the received signals back into sound.
The arrival of Voice over IP (VoIP) technology – essentially, transmitting voice calls over the Internet rather than the PSTN – challenged traditional telephony and fundamentally changed how people communicate.
In order to make and process VoIP phone calls, and to benefit from additional features that are possible with IP telephony such as conferencing, call recording or Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), businesses need a dedicated VoIP solution.
Switching data packets over VoIP
The VoIP technology’s key function is to convert the caller’s voice into a digital signal that can then be transmitted over the Internet.
This packet switching is more efficient than the traditional circuit switching because it doesn’t rely on a fixed physical path between source and destination, which means several separate calls can securely share the available bandwidth.
Integrations add even more functionality for more efficient business processes. As an example, NFON’s cloud telephony system integrates with Unified Communications tools such as Microsoft Teams. This integration enables users to make phone calls within the familiar Teams environment where they also access other UC functions, and to benefit from lower costs.
Yes, in the majority of cases, VoIP users can call non-VoIP mobile phones or landlines, which means you can get all the simplicity, flexibility and cost savings of VoIP, whoever you’re calling. VoIP solutions use something called a VoIP gateway to connect with regular mobile phones and landlines via the PSTN network. The VoIP gateway also converts calls from traditional phones into IP, so anyone in the world can call you on your VoIP phone.
Reliable VoIP solutions are hosted in highly secure data centres and use proven technologies such as encryption to protect your voice data. NFON’s VoIP solution for example is hosted in geo-redundant data centres. The fact that our solution is highly secure and highly available has helped us achieve compliance with EU Electronic Communications legislation. The data centres where our solution is hosted are also fully compliant with ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management standards, gaining the trust of our clients and providing them with complete peace of mind.
One of the main advantages of VoIP is that is offers multiple device integration. This allows users, for instance, to also have their office extension on their mobile phone, giving them complete freedom of communication, no matter whether they are working remotely or in the office.
There are four main ways in which your current phone system can be migrated to VoIP.
The main requirement for deploying VoIP is a good Internet connection. With NFON, everything else is hosted in the cloud on our secure servers, so you can access your new telephony platform quickly and easily, with no need for complex software installation or hardware deployment.
NFON has prepared a variety of resources to help you find out more about Internet telephony and the capabilities of our cloud telephony system.