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VoiceoverIP
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

VoiceoverInternetProtocol(VoiceoverIP,VoIPandIPtelephony)isamethodologyandgroupof
technologiesforthedeliveryofvoicecommunicationsandmultimediasessionsoverInternetProtocol(IP)
networks,suchastheInternet.ThetermsInternettelephony,broadbandtelephony,andbroadbandphone
servicespecificallyrefertotheprovisioningofcommunicationsservices(voice,fax,SMS,voicemessaging)over
thepublicInternet,ratherthanviathepublicswitchedtelephonenetwork(PSTN).
ThestepsandprinciplesinvolvedinoriginatingVoIPtelephonecallsaresimilartotraditionaldigitaltelephonyand
involvesignaling,channelsetup,digitizationoftheanalogvoicesignals,andencoding.Insteadofbeing
transmittedoveracircuitswitchednetworkhowever,thedigitalinformationispacketized,andtransmission
occursasIPpacketsoverapacketswitchednetwork.Theytransportaudiostreamsusingspecialmediadelivery
protocolsthatencodeaudioandvideowithaudiocodecs,andvideocodecs.Variouscodecsexistthatoptimizethe
mediastreambasedonapplicationrequirementsandnetworkbandwidthsomeimplementationsrelyon
narrowbandandcompressedspeech,whileotherssupporthighfidelitystereocodecs.Somepopularcodecsinclude
lawandalawversionsofG.711,G.722,apopularopensourcevoicecodecknownasiLBC,acodecthatonly
uses8kbit/seachwaycalledG.729,andmanyothers.
EarlyprovidersofvoiceoverIPservicesofferedbusinessmodelsandtechnicalsolutionsthatmirroredthe
architectureofthelegacytelephonenetwork.Secondgenerationproviders,suchasSkype,havebuiltclosed
networksforprivateuserbases,offeringthebenefitoffreecallsandconveniencewhilepotentiallychargingfor
accesstoothercommunicationnetworks,suchasthePSTN.Thishaslimitedthefreedomofuserstomixand
matchthirdpartyhardwareandsoftware.Thirdgenerationproviders,suchasGoogleTalk,haveadoptedthe
conceptoffederatedVoIPwhichisadeparturefromthearchitectureofthelegacynetworks.[1]Thesesolutions
typicallyallowdynamicinterconnectionbetweenusersonanytwodomainsontheInternetwhenauserwishesto
placeacall.
InadditiontoVoIPphones,VoIPisavailableonmanysmartphones,personalcomputers,andonInternetaccess
devices.CallsandSMStextmessagesmaybesentover3G/4GorWiFi.[2]

Contents
1 Pronunciation
2 Protocols
3 Adoption
3.1 Consumermarket
3.2 PSTNandmobilenetworkproviders
3.3 Corporateuse
4 Qualityofservice
4.1 Layer2
5 VoIPperformancemetrics
6 PSTNintegration
6.1 Numberportability
6.2 Emergencycalls
7 Faxsupport
8 Powerrequirements
9 Security
10 CallerID
11 Compatibilitywithtraditionalanalogtelephonesets
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Compatibilitywithtraditionalanalogtelephonesets
Supportforothertelephonydevices
Operationalcost
Regulatoryandlegalissues
14.1 EuropeanUnion
14.2 MiddleEast
14.3 India
14.4 SouthKorea
14.5 UnitedStates
Historicalmilestones
Seealso
References
Externallinks

Pronunciation
VoIPisvariouslypronouncedasinitials,VOIP,orasanacronym,usually/vjp/(voyp),asinvoice,[3]but
pronunciationinfullwords,voiceoverInternetProtocol,andvoiceoverIP,arecommon.

Protocols
VoiceoverIPhasbeenimplementedinvariouswaysusingbothproprietaryprotocolsandprotocolsbasedonopen
standards.VoIPprotocolsinclude:
SessionInitiationProtocol(SIP)
H.323
MediaGatewayControlProtocol(MGCP)
GatewayControlProtocol(Megaco,H.248)
RealtimeTransportProtocol(RTP)
RealtimeTransportControlProtocol(RTCP)
SecureRealtimeTransportProtocol(SRTP)
SessionDescriptionProtocol(SDP)
InterAsteriskeXchange(IAX)
JingleXMPPVoIPextensions
Skypeprotocol
Teamspeak
TheH.323protocolwasoneofthefirstVoIPprotocolsthatfoundwidespreadimplementationforlongdistance
traffic,aswellaslocalareanetworkservices.However,sincethedevelopmentofnewer,lesscomplexprotocols
suchasMGCPandSIP,H.323deploymentsareincreasinglylimitedtocarryingexistinglonghaulnetworktraffic.
Theseprotocolscanbeusedbyspecialpurposesoftware,suchasJitsi,orintegratedintoawebpage(webbased
VoIP),likeGoogleTalk.

Adoption
Consumermarket

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Amajordevelopmentthatstartedin2004wastheintroductionofmass
marketVoIPservicesthatutilizeexistingbroadbandInternetaccess,by
whichsubscribersplaceandreceivetelephonecallsinmuchthesame
mannerastheywouldviathepublicswitchedtelephonenetwork(PSTN).
FullserviceVoIPphonecompaniesprovideinboundandoutboundservice
withdirectinbounddialing.Manyofferunlimiteddomesticcallingfora
flatmonthlysubscriptionfee.Thissometimesincludesinternationalcallsto
certaincountries.Phonecallsbetweensubscribersofthesameproviderare
usuallyfreewhenflatfeeserviceisnotavailable.AVoIPphoneis
necessarytoconnecttoaVoIPserviceprovider.Thiscanbeimplemented
inseveralways:
DedicatedVoIPphonesconnectdirectlytotheIPnetworkusing
Exampleofresidentialnetwork
technologiessuchaswiredEthernetorWiFi.Theyaretypically
includingVoIP
designedinthestyleoftraditionaldigitalbusinesstelephones.
Ananalogtelephoneadapterisadevicethatconnectstothenetwork
andimplementstheelectronicsandfirmwaretooperateaconventionalanalogtelephoneattachedthrougha
modularphonejack.SomeresidentialInternetgatewaysandcablemodemshavethisfunctionbuiltin.
Asoftphoneisapplicationsoftwareinstalledonanetworkedcomputerthatisequippedwithamicrophone
andspeaker,orheadset.Theapplicationtypicallypresentsadialpadanddisplayfieldtotheusertooperate
theapplicationbymouseclicksorkeyboardinput.

PSTNandmobilenetworkproviders
ItisbecomingincreasinglycommonfortelecommunicationsproviderstouseVoIPtelephonyoverdedicatedand
publicIPnetworkstoconnectswitchingcentersandtointerconnectwithothertelephonynetworkprovidersthisis
oftenreferredtoas"IPbackhaul".[4][5]
SmartphonesandWiFienabledmobilephonesmayhaveSIPclientsbuiltintothefirmwareoravailableasan
applicationdownload.

Corporateuse
BecauseofthebandwidthefficiencyandlowcoststhatVoIPtechnologycanprovide,businessesaremigrating
fromtraditionalcopperwiretelephonesystemstoVoIPsystemstoreducetheirmonthlyphonecosts.In2008,80%
ofallnewPrivatebranchexchange(PBX)linesinstalledinternationallywereVoIP.[6]
VoIPsolutionsaimedatbusinesseshaveevolvedintounifiedcommunicationsservicesthattreatall
communicationsphonecalls,faxes,voicemail,email,Webconferences,andmoreasdiscreteunitsthatcanall
bedeliveredviaanymeansandtoanyhandset,includingcellphones.Twokindsofcompetitorsarecompetingin
thisspace:onesetisfocusedonVoIPformediumtolargeenterprises,whileanotheristargetingthesmallto
mediumbusiness(SMB)market.[7]
VoIPallowsbothvoiceanddatacommunicationstoberunoverasinglenetwork,whichcansignificantlyreduce
infrastructurecosts.[8]
ThepricesofextensionsonVoIParelowerthanforPBXandkeysystems.VoIPswitchesmayrunoncommodity
hardware,suchaspersonalcomputers.Ratherthanclosedarchitectures,thesedevicesrelyonstandard
interfaces.[8]

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VoIPdeviceshavesimple,intuitiveuserinterfaces,souserscanoftenmakesimplesystemconfigurationchanges.
Dualmodephonesenableuserstocontinuetheirconversationsastheymovebetweenanoutsidecellularservice
andaninternalWiFinetwork,sothatitisnolongernecessarytocarrybothadesktopphoneandacellphone.
Maintenancebecomessimplerastherearefewerdevicestooversee.[8]
Skype,whichoriginallymarketeditselfasaserviceamongfriends,hasbeguntocatertobusinesses,providing
freeofchargeconnectionsbetweenanyusersontheSkypenetworkandconnectingtoandfromordinaryPSTN
telephonesforacharge.[9]
IntheUnitedStatestheSocialSecurityAdministration(SSA)isconvertingitsfieldofficesof63,000workers
fromtraditionalphoneinstallationstoaVoIPinfrastructurecarriedoveritsexistingdatanetwork.[10][11]

Qualityofservice
CommunicationontheIPnetworkisperceivedaslessreliableincontrasttothecircuitswitchedpublictelephone
networkbecauseitdoesnotprovideanetworkbasedmechanismtoensurethatdatapacketsarenotlost,andare
deliveredinsequentialorder.ItisabesteffortnetworkwithoutfundamentalQualityofService(QoS)guarantees.
Therefore,VoIPimplementationsmayfaceproblemswithlatency,packetloss,andjitter.[12][13]
Bydefault,networkroutershandletrafficonafirstcome,firstservedbasis.Networkroutersonhighvolume
trafficlinksmayintroducelatencythatexceedspermissiblethresholdsforVoIP.Fixeddelayscannotbecontrolled,
astheyarecausedbythephysicaldistancethepacketstravelhowever,latencycanbeminimizedbymarking
voicepacketsasbeingdelaysensitivewithmethodssuchasDiffServ.[12]
VoIPendpointsusuallyhavetowaitforcompletionoftransmissionofpreviouspacketsbeforenewdatamaybe
sent.Althoughitispossibletopreempt(abort)alessimportantpacketinmidtransmission,thisisnotcommonly
done,especiallyonhighspeedlinkswheretransmissiontimesareshortevenformaximumsizedpackets.[14]An
alternativetopreemptiononslowerlinks,suchasdialupanddigitalsubscriberline(DSL),istoreducethe
maximumtransmissiontimebyreducingthemaximumtransmissionunit.Buteverypacketmustcontainprotocol
headers,sothisincreasesrelativeheaderoverheadoneverylinktraversed,notjustthebottleneck(usuallyInternet
access)link.[14]
DSLmodemsprovideEthernet(orEthernetoverUSB)connectionstolocalequipment,butinsidetheyareactually
AsynchronousTransferMode(ATM)modems.TheyuseATMAdaptationLayer5(AAL5)tosegmenteach
Ethernetpacketintoaseriesof53byteATMcellsfortransmission,reassemblingthembackintoEthernetframes
atthereceivingend.Avirtualcircuitidentifier(VCI)ispartofthe5byteheaderoneveryATMcell,sothe
transmittercanmultiplextheactivevirtualcircuits(VCs)inanyarbitraryorder.CellsfromthesameVCare
alwayssentsequentially.
However,amajorityofDSLprovidersuseonlyoneVCforeachcustomer,eventhosewithbundledVoIPservice.
EveryEthernetframemustbecompletelytransmittedbeforeanothercanbegin.IfasecondVCwereestablished,
givenhighpriorityandreservedforVoIP,thenalowprioritydatapacketcouldbesuspendedinmidtransmission
andaVoIPpacketsentrightawayonthehighpriorityVC.ThenthelinkwouldpickupthelowpriorityVCwhere
itleftoff.BecauseATMlinksaremultiplexedonacellbycellbasis,ahighprioritypacketwouldhavetowaitat
most53bytetimestobegintransmission.TherewouldbenoneedtoreducetheinterfaceMTUandacceptthe
resultingincreaseinhigherlayerprotocoloverhead,andnoneedtoabortalowprioritypacketandresenditlater.
ATMhassubstantialheaderoverhead:5/53=9.4%,roughlytwicethetotalheaderoverheadofa1500byte
Ethernetframe.This"ATMtax"isincurredbyeveryDSLuserwhetherornottheytakeadvantageofmultiple
virtualcircuitsandfewcan.[12]
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ATM'spotentialforlatencyreductionisgreatestonslowlinks,becauseworstcaselatencydecreaseswith
increasinglinkspeed.Afullsize(1500byte)Ethernetframetakes94mstotransmitat128kbit/sbutonly8msat
1.5Mbit/s.Ifthisisthebottlenecklink,thislatencyisprobablysmallenoughtoensuregoodVoIPperformance
withoutMTUreductionsormultipleATMVCs.ThelatestgenerationsofDSL,VDSLandVDSL2,carryEthernet
withoutintermediateATM/AAL5layers,andtheygenerallysupportIEEE802.1pprioritytaggingsothatVoIPcan
bequeuedaheadoflesstimecriticaltraffic.[12]
Voice,andallotherdata,travelsinpacketsoverIPnetworkswithfixedmaximumcapacity.Thissystemmaybe
morepronetocongestionandDoSattacks[15]thantraditionalcircuitswitchedsystemsacircuitswitchedsystem
ofinsufficientcapacitywillrefusenewconnectionswhilecarryingtheremainderwithoutimpairment,whilethe
qualityofrealtimedatasuchastelephoneconversationsonpacketswitchednetworksdegradesdramatically.[12]
Fixeddelayscannotbecontrolledastheyarecausedbythephysicaldistancethepacketstravel.Theyare
especiallyproblematicwhensatellitecircuitsareinvolvedbecauseofthelongdistancetoageostationarysatellite
andbackdelaysof400600msaretypical.
Whentheloadonalinkgrowssoquicklythatitsswitchesexperiencequeueoverflows,congestionresultsanddata
packetsarelost.ThissignalsatransportprotocollikeTCPtoreduceitstransmissionratetoalleviatethe
congestion.ButVoIPusuallyusesUDPnotTCPbecauserecoveringfromcongestionthroughretransmission
usuallyentailstoomuchlatency.[12]SoQoSmechanismscanavoidtheundesirablelossofVoIPpacketsby
immediatelytransmittingthemaheadofanyqueuedbulktrafficonthesamelink,evenwhenthatbulktraffic
queueisoverflowing.
ThereceivermustresequenceIPpacketsthatarriveoutoforderandrecovergracefullywhenpacketsarrivetoo
lateornotatall.Jitterresultsfromtherapidandrandom(i.e.unpredictable)changesinqueuelengthsalonga
givenInternetpathduetocompetitionfromotherusersforthesametransmissionlinks.VoIPreceiverscounter
jitterbystoringincomingpacketsbrieflyina"dejitter"or"playout"buffer,deliberatelyincreasinglatencyto
improvethechancethateachpacketwillbeonhandwhenitistimeforthevoiceenginetoplayit.Theadded
delayisthusacompromisebetweenexcessivelatencyandexcessivedropout,i.e.momentaryaudiointerruptions.
Althoughjitterisarandomvariable,itisthesumofseveralotherrandomvariablesthatareatleastsomewhat
independent:theindividualqueuingdelaysoftheroutersalongtheInternetpathinquestion.Thusaccordingtothe
centrallimittheorem,wecanmodeljitterasagaussianrandomvariable.Thissuggestscontinuallyestimatingthe
meandelayanditsstandarddeviationandsettingtheplayoutdelaysothatonlypacketsdelayedmorethanseveral
standarddeviationsabovethemeanwillarrivetoolatetobeuseful.Inpractice,however,thevarianceinlatencyof
manyInternetpathsisdominatedbyasmallnumber(oftenone)ofrelativelyslowandcongested"bottleneck"
links.MostInternetbackbonelinksarenowsofast(e.g.10Gbit/s)thattheirdelaysaredominatedbythe
transmissionmedium(e.g.opticalfiber)andtheroutersdrivingthemdonothaveenoughbufferingforqueuing
delaystobesignificant.
IthasbeensuggestedtorelyonthepacketizednatureofmediainVoIPcommunicationsandtransmitthestreamof
packetsfromthesourcephonetothedestinationphonesimultaneouslyacrossdifferentroutes(multipath
routing).[16]Insuchaway,temporaryfailureshavelessimpactonthecommunicationquality.Incapillaryrouting
ithasbeensuggestedtouseatthepacketlevelFountaincodesorparticularlyraptorcodesfortransmittingextra
redundantpacketsmakingthecommunicationmorereliable.
Anumberofprotocolshavebeendefinedtosupportthereportingofqualityofservice(QoS)andqualityof
experience(QoE)forVoIPcalls.TheseincludeRTCPExtendedReport(RFC3611),SIPRTCPSummaryReports,
H.460.9AnnexB(forH.323),H.248.30andMGCPextensions.TheRFC3611VoIPMetricsblockisgeneratedby
anIPphoneorgatewayduringalivecallandcontainsinformationonpacketlossrate,packetdiscardrate(because
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ofjitter),packetloss/discardburstmetrics(burstlength/density,gaplength/density),networkdelay,endsystem
delay,signal/noise/echolevel,MeanOpinionScores(MOS)andRfactorsandconfigurationinformationrelated
tothejitterbuffer.
RFC3611VoIPmetricsreportsareexchangedbetweenIPendpointsonanoccasionalbasisduringacall,andan
endofcallmessagesentviaSIPRTCPSummaryReportoroneoftheothersignalingprotocolextensions.RFC
3611VoIPmetricsreportsareintendedtosupportrealtimefeedbackrelatedtoQoSproblems,theexchangeof
informationbetweentheendpointsforimprovedcallqualitycalculationandavarietyofotherapplications.
RuralareasinparticulararegreatlyhinderedintheirabilitytochooseaVoIPsystemoverPBX.Thisisgenerally
downtothepooraccesstosuperfastbroadbandinruralcountryareas.Withthereleaseof4Gdata,thereisa
potentialforcorporateusersbasedoutsideofpopulatedareastoswitchtheirinternetconnectionto4Gdata,which
iscomparativelyasfastasaregularsuperfastbroadbandconnection.Thisgreatlyenhancestheoverallqualityand
userexperienceofaVoIPsystemintheseareas.ThismethodwasalreadytrialledinruralGermany,surpassingall
expectations.[17]

Layer2
Anumberofprotocolsthatdealwiththedatalinklayerandphysicallayerincludequalityofservicemechanisms
thatcanbeusedtoensurethatapplicationslikeVoIPworkwellevenincongestedscenarios.Someexamples
include:
IEEE802.11eisanapprovedamendmenttotheIEEE802.11standardthatdefinesasetofqualityofservice
enhancementsforwirelessLANapplicationsthroughmodificationstotheMediaAccessControl(MAC)
layer.Thestandardisconsideredofcriticalimportancefordelaysensitiveapplications,suchasvoiceover
wirelessIP.
IEEE802.1pdefines8differentclassesofservice(includingonededicatedtovoice)fortrafficonlayer2
wiredEthernet.
TheITUTG.hnstandard,whichprovidesawaytocreateahighspeed(upto1gigabitpersecond)Local
areanetwork(LAN)usingexistinghomewiring(powerlines,phonelinesandcoaxialcables).G.hn
providesQoSbymeansof"ContentionFreeTransmissionOpportunities"(CFTXOPs)whichareallocated
toflows(suchasaVoIPcall)whichrequireQoSandwhichhavenegotiateda"contract"withthenetwork
controllers.

VoIPperformancemetrics
Thequalityofvoicetransmissionischaracterizedbyseveralmetricsthatmaybemonitoredbynetworkelements,
bytheuseragenthardwareorsoftware.Suchmetricsincludenetworkpacketloss,packetjitter,packetlatency
(delay),postdialdelay,andecho.ThemetricsaredeterminedbyVoIPperformancetestingand
monitoring.[18][19][20][21][22][23]

PSTNintegration
TheMediaVoIPGatewayconnectsthedigitalmediastream,soastocompletecreatingthepathforvoiceaswell
asdatamedia.ItincludestheinterfaceforconnectingthestandardPSTNnetworkswiththeATMandInter
Protocolnetworks.TheEthernetinterfacesarealsoincludedinthemodernsystems,whicharespeciallydesigned
tolinkcallsthatarepassedviatheVoIP.[24]

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E.164isaglobalFGFnumberingstandardforboththePSTNandPLMN.MostVoIPimplementationssupport
E.164toallowcallstoberoutedtoandfromVoIPsubscribersandthePSTN/PLMN.[25]VoIPimplementationscan
alsoallowotheridentificationtechniquestobeused.Forexample,Skypeallowssubscriberstochoose"Skype
names"[26](usernames)whereasSIPimplementationscanuseURIs[27]similartoemailaddresses.OftenVoIP
implementationsemploymethodsoftranslatingnonE.164identifierstoE.164numbersandviceversa,suchasthe
SkypeInserviceprovidedbySkype[28]andtheENUMserviceinIMSandSIP.[29]
EchocanalsobeanissueforPSTNintegration.[30]Commoncausesofechoincludeimpedancemismatchesin
analogcircuitryandacousticcouplingofthetransmitandreceivesignalatthereceivingend.

Numberportability
Localnumberportability(LNP)andMobilenumberportability(MNP)alsoimpactVoIPbusiness.InNovember
2007,theFederalCommunicationsCommissionintheUnitedStatesreleasedanorderextendingnumber
portabilityobligationstointerconnectedVoIPprovidersandcarriersthatsupportVoIPproviders.[31]Number
portabilityisaservicethatallowsasubscribertoselectanewtelephonecarrierwithoutrequiringanewnumberto
beissued.Typically,itistheresponsibilityoftheformercarrierto"map"theoldnumbertotheundisclosed
numberassignedbythenewcarrier.Thisisachievedbymaintainingadatabaseofnumbers.Adialednumberis
initiallyreceivedbytheoriginalcarrierandquicklyreroutedtothenewcarrier.Multipleportingreferencesmust
bemaintainedevenifthesubscriberreturnstotheoriginalcarrier.TheFCCmandatescarriercompliancewith
theseconsumerprotectionstipulations.
AvoicecalloriginatingintheVoIPenvironmentalsofaceschallengestoreachitsdestinationifthenumberis
routedtoamobilephonenumberonatraditionalmobilecarrier.VoIPhasbeenidentifiedinthepastasaLeast
CostRouting(LCR)system,whichisbasedoncheckingthedestinationofeachtelephonecallasitismade,and
thensendingthecallviathenetworkthatwillcostthecustomertheleast.Thisratingissubjecttosomedebate
giventhecomplexityofcallroutingcreatedbynumberportability.WithGSMnumberportabilitynowinplace,
LCRproviderscannolongerrelyonusingthenetworkrootprefixtodeterminehowtorouteacall.Instead,they
mustnowdeterminetheactualnetworkofeverynumberbeforeroutingthecall.
Therefore,VoIPsolutionsalsoneedtohandleMNPwhenroutingavoicecall.Incountrieswithoutacentral
database,liketheUK,itmightbenecessarytoquerytheGSMnetworkaboutwhichhomenetworkamobilephone
numberbelongsto.AsthepopularityofVoIPincreasesintheenterprisemarketsbecauseofleastcostrouting
options,itneedstoprovideacertainlevelofreliabilitywhenhandlingcalls.
MNPchecksareimportanttoassurethatthisqualityofserviceismet.HandlingMNPlookupsbeforeroutinga
callprovidessomeassurancethatthevoicecallwillactuallywork.

Emergencycalls
Atelephoneconnectedtoalandlinehasadirectrelationshipbetweenatelephonenumberandaphysicallocation,
whichismaintainedbythetelephonecompanyandavailabletoemergencyrespondersviathenationalemergency
responseservicecentersinformofemergencysubscriberlists.Whenanemergencycallisreceivedbyacenterthe
locationisautomaticallydeterminedfromitsdatabasesanddisplayedontheoperatorconsole.
InIPtelephony,nosuchdirectlinkbetweenlocationandcommunicationsendpointexists.Evenaproviderhaving
hardwareinfrastructure,suchasaDSLprovider,mayonlyknowtheapproximatelocationofthedevice,basedon
theIPaddressallocatedtothenetworkrouterandtheknownserviceaddress.However,someISPsdonottrackthe
automaticassignmentofIPaddressestocustomerequipment.[32]
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IPcommunicationprovidesfordevicemobility.Forexample,aresidentialbroadbandconnectionmaybeusedasa
linktoavirtualprivatenetworkofacorporateentity,inwhichcasetheIPaddressbeingusedforcustomer
communicationsmaybelongtotheenterprise,notbeingthenetworkaddressoftheresidentialISP.Suchoff
premisesextensionsmayappearaspartofanupstreamIPPBX.Onmobiledevices,e.g.,a3GhandsetorUSB
wirelessbroadbandadapter,theIPaddresshasnorelationshipwithanyphysicallocationknowntothetelephony
serviceprovider,sinceamobileusercouldbeanywhereinaregionwithnetworkcoverage,evenroamingvia
anothercellularcompany.
AttheVoIPlevel,aphoneorgatewaymayidentifyitselfwithaSessionInitiationProtocol(SIP)registrarbyits
accountcredentials.Insuchcases,theInternettelephonyserviceprovider(ITSP)onlyknowsthataparticular
user'sequipmentisactive.Serviceprovidersoftenprovideemergencyresponseservicesbyagreementwiththe
userwhoregistersaphysicallocationandagreesthatemergencyservicesareonlyprovidedtothataddressifan
emergencynumberiscalledfromtheIPdevice.
SuchemergencyservicesareprovidedbyVoIPvendorsintheUnitedStatesbyasystemcalledEnhanced911
(E911),basedontheWirelessCommunicationsandPublicSafetyActof1999.TheVoIPE911emergencycalling
systemassociatesaphysicaladdresswiththecallingparty'stelephonenumber.AllVoIPprovidersthatprovide
accesstothepublicswitchedtelephonenetworkarerequiredtoimplementE911,[32]aserviceforwhichthe
subscribermaybecharged.However,endcustomerparticipationinE911isnotmandatoryandcustomersmayopt
outoftheservice.[32]
TheVoIPE911systemisbasedonastatictablelookup.Unlikeincellularphones,wherethelocationofanE911
callcanbetracedusingassistedGPSorothermethods,theVoIPE911informationisonlyaccuratesolongas
subscribers,whohavethelegalresponsibility,arediligentinkeepingtheiremergencyaddressinformationcurrent.

Faxsupport
SupportforfaxhasbeenproblematicinmanyVoIPimplementations,asmostvoicedigitizationandcompression
codecsareoptimizedfortherepresentationofthehumanvoiceandthepropertimingofthemodemsignalscannot
beguaranteedinapacketbased,connectionlessnetwork.AnalternativeIPbasedsolutionfordeliveringfaxover
IPcalledT.38isavailable.SendingfaxesusingVoIPissometimesreferredtoasFoIP,orFaxoverIP.
TheT.38protocolisdesignedtocompensateforthedifferencesbetweentraditionalpacketlesscommunications
overanaloglinesandpacketbasedtransmissionswhicharethebasisforIPcommunications.Thefaxmachine
couldbeatraditionalfaxmachineconnectedtothePSTN,oranATAbox(orsimilar).Itcouldbeafaxmachine
withanRJ45connectorpluggedstraightintoanIPnetwork,oritcouldbeacomputerpretendingtobeafax
machine.[33]Originally,T.38wasdesignedtouseUDPandTCPtransmissionmethodsacrossanIPnetwork.TCP
isbettersuitedforusebetweentwoIPdevices.However,olderfaxmachines,connectedtoananalogsystem,
benefitfromUDPnearrealtimecharacteristicsduetothe"norecoveryrule"whenaUDPpacketislostoranerror
occursduringtransmission.[34]UDPtransmissionsarepreferredastheydonotrequiretestingfordroppedpackets
andassuchsinceeachT.38packettransmissionincludesamajorityofthedatasentinthepriorpacket,aT.38
terminationpointhasahigherdegreeofsuccessinreassemblingthefaxtransmissionbackintoitsoriginalform
forinterpretationbytheenddevice.Thisinanattempttoovercometheobstaclesofsimulatingrealtime
transmissionsusingpacketbasedprotocol.[35]
TherehavebeenupdatedversionsofT.30toresolvethefaxoverIPissues,whichisthecorefaxprotocol.Some
newerhighendfaxmachineshaveT.38builtincapabilitieswhichallowtheusertoplugrightintothenetworkand
transmit/receivefaxesinnativeT.38liketheRicoh4410NFFaxMachine.AuniquefeatureofT.38isthateach
packetcontainsaportionofthemaindatasentinthepreviouspacket.WithT.38,twosuccessivelostpacketsare
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neededtoactuallyloseanydata.Thedataonewilllosewillonlybeasmallpiece,butwiththerightsettingsand
errorcorrectionmode,thereisanincreasedlikelihoodthattheywillreceiveenoughofthetransmissiontosatisfy
therequirementsofthefaxmachineforoutputofthesentdocument.
Whilemanylatemodelanalogtelephoneadapters(ATAs)supportT.38,uptakehasbeenlimitedasmanyvoice
overIPprovidersperformleastcostroutingwhichselectstheleastexpensivePSTNgatewayinthecalledcityfor
anoutboundmessage.ThereistypicallynomeanstoensurethatthatgatewayisT.38capable.Providersoften
placetheirownequipment(suchasanAsteriskPBXinstallation)inthesignalpath,whichcreatesadditionalissues
aseverylinkinthechainmustbeT.38awarefortheprotocoltowork.Similarissuesariseifaprovideris
purchasinglocaldirectinwarddialnumbersfromthelowestbidderineachcity,asmanyofthesemaynotbeT.38
enabled.

Powerrequirements
Telephonesfortraditionalresidentialanalogserviceareusuallyconnecteddirectlytotelephonecompanyphone
lineswhichprovidedirectcurrenttopowermostbasicanaloghandsetsindependentlyoflocallyavailableelectrical
power.
IPPhonesandVoIPtelephoneadaptersconnecttoroutersorcablemodemswhichtypicallydependonthe
availabilityofmainselectricityorlocallygeneratedpower.[36]SomeVoIPserviceprovidersusecustomerpremises
equipment(e.g.,cablemodems)withbatterybackedpowersuppliestoassureuninterruptedserviceforupto
severalhoursincaseoflocalpowerfailures.Suchbatterybackeddevicestypicallyaredesignedforusewith
analoghandsets.
SomeVoIPserviceprovidersimplementservicestoroutecallstoothertelephoneservicesofthesubscriber,sucha
cellularphone,intheeventthatthecustomer'snetworkdeviceisinaccessibletoterminatethecall.
Thesusceptibilityofphoneservicetopowerfailuresisacommonproblemevenwithtraditionalanalogservicein
areaswheremanycustomerspurchasemoderntelephoneunitsthatoperatewithwirelesshandsetstoabasestation,
orthathaveothermodernphonefeatures,suchasbuiltinvoicemailorphonebookfeatures.

Security
ThesecurityconcernsofVoIPtelephonesystemsaresimilartothoseofanyInternetconnecteddevice.Thismeans
thathackerswhoknowaboutthesevulnerabilitiescaninstitutedenialofserviceattacks,harvestcustomerdata,
recordconversationsandcompromisevoicemailmessages.Thequalityofinternetconnectiondeterminesthe
qualityofthecalls.VoIPphoneservicealsowillnotworkifthereispoweroutageandwhentheinternet
connectionisdown.The911or112serviceprovidedbyVoIPphoneserviceisalsodifferentfromanalogphone
whichisassociatedwithafixedaddress.Theemergencycentermaynotbeabletodetermineyourlocationbased
onyourvirtualphonenumber.[37][38][39]CompromisedVoIPuseraccountorsessioncredentialsmayenablean
attackertoincursubstantialchargesfromthirdpartyservices,suchaslongdistanceorinternationaltelephone
calling.
ThetechnicaldetailsofmanyVoIPprotocolscreatechallengesinroutingVoIPtrafficthroughfirewallsand
networkaddresstranslators,usedtointerconnecttotransitnetworksortheInternet.Privatesessionborder
controllersareoftenemployedtoenableVoIPcallstoandfromprotectednetworks.Othermethodstotraverse
NATdevicesinvolveassistiveprotocolssuchasSTUNandInteractiveConnectivityEstablishment(ICE).

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ManyconsumerVoIPsolutionsdonotsupportencryptionofthesignalingpathorthemedia,howeversecuringa
VoIPphoneisconceptuallyeasiertoimplementthanontraditionaltelephonecircuits.Aresultofthelackof
encryptionisarelativeeasytoeavesdroponVoIPcallswhenaccesstothedatanetworkispossible.[40]Freeopen
sourcesolutions,suchasWireshark,facilitatecapturingVoIPconversations.
StandardsforsecuringVoIPareavailableintheSecureRealtimeTransportProtocol(SRTP)andtheZRTP
protocolforanalogtelephonyadaptersaswellasforsomesoftphones.IPsecisavailabletosecurepointtopoint
VoIPatthetransportlevelbyusingopportunisticencryption.
GovernmentandmilitaryorganizationsusevarioussecuritymeasurestoprotectVoIPtraffic,suchasvoiceover
secureIP(VoSIP),securevoiceoverIP(SVoIP),andsecurevoiceoversecureIP(SVoSIP).[41]Thedistinctionlies
inwhetherencryptionisappliedinthetelephoneorinthenetwork[42]orboth.SecurevoiceoversecureIPis
accomplishedbyencryptingVoIPwithprotocolssuchasSRTPorZRTP.SecurevoiceoverIPisaccomplishedby
usingType1encryptiononaclassifiednetwork,likeSIPRNet.[43][44][45][46][47]PublicSecureVoIPisalsoavailable
withfreeGNUprogramsandinmanypopularcommercialVoIPprogramsvialibrariessuchasZRTP.[48]

CallerID
CallerIDsupportamongVoIPprovidersvaries,butisprovidedbythemajorityofVoIPproviders.ManyVoIP
serviceprovidersallowcallerstoconfigurearbitrarycallerIDinformation,thuspermittingspoofingattacks.[49]
BusinessgradeVoIPequipmentandsoftwareoftenmakesiteasytomodifycallerIDinformation,providingmany
businessesgreatflexibility.
TheUnitedStatesenactedtheTruthinCallerIDActof2009onDecember22,2010.Thislawmakesitacrimeto
"knowinglytransmitmisleadingorinaccuratecalleridentificationinformationwiththeintenttodefraud,cause
harm,orwrongfullyobtainanythingofvalue...".[50]RulesimplementingthelawwereadoptedbytheFederal
CommunicationsCommissiononJune20,2011.[51]

Compatibilitywithtraditionalanalogtelephonesets
Mostanalogtelephoneadaptersdonotdecodedialpulsesgeneratedbyoldertelephones,supportingonlytouch
tone.Pulsetotoneconvertersarecommerciallyavailable[52]auserreportsthatafewspecificATAmodels(such
astheGrandstream502)recognisepulsedialdirectly,butarepoorlydocumentedandprovidenoassurancethat
newermodelsinthesameserieswillretainthiscompatibility.Thishowever,willonlyworkforoneVoIP
conversationatatime.[53]

Supportforothertelephonydevices
AnotherchallengeforVoIPimplementationsistheproperhandlingofoutgoingcallsfromothertelephonydevices
suchasdigitalvideorecorders,satellitetelevisionreceivers,alarmsystems,conventionalmodemsandother
similardevicesthatdependonaccesstoaPSTNtelephonelineforsomeoralloftheirfunctionality.
Thesetypesofcallssometimescompletewithoutanyproblems,butinothercasestheyfail.IfVoIPandcellular
substitutionbecomesverypopular,someancillaryequipmentmakersmaybeforcedtoredesignequipment,
becauseitwouldnolongerbepossibletoassumeaconventionalPSTNtelephonelinewouldbeavailablein
consumers'houses.

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Operationalcost
VoIPcanbeabenefitforreducingcommunicationandinfrastructurecosts.Examplesinclude:
Routingphonecallsoverexistingdatanetworkstoavoidtheneedforseparatevoiceanddatanetworks.[54]
Theabilitytotransmitmorethanonetelephonecalloverasinglebroadbandconnection.
Securecallsusingstandardizedprotocols(suchasSecureRealtimeTransportProtocol).Mostofthe
difficultiesofcreatingasecuretelephoneconnectionovertraditionalphonelines,suchasdigitizingand
digitaltransmission,arealreadyinplacewithVoIP.Itisonlynecessarytoencryptandauthenticatethe
existingdatastream.
Utilizedexistingnetworkinfrastructuretominimizetheoperatingcost.[55]
EliminatingtheneedofhiringpersonneltogreetanddistributeincomingcallswiththeuseofaVirtualPBX

Regulatoryandlegalissues
AsthepopularityofVoIPgrows,governmentsarebecomingmoreinterestedinregulatingVoIPinamanner
similartoPSTNservices.[56]
Throughoutthedevelopingworld,countrieswhereregulationisweakorcapturedbythedominantoperator,
restrictionsontheuseofVoIPareimposed,includinginPanamawhereVoIPistaxed,GuyanawhereVoIPis
prohibitedandIndiawhereitsretailcommercialsalesisallowedbutonlyforlongdistanceservice.[57]InEthiopia,
wherethegovernmentisnationalisingtelecommunicationservice,itisacriminaloffencetoofferservicesusing
VoIP.ThecountryhasinstalledfirewallstopreventinternationalcallsbeingmadeusingVoIP.Thesemeasures
weretakenafterthepopularityofVoIPreducedtheincomegeneratedbythestateownedtelecommunication
company.

EuropeanUnion
IntheEuropeanUnion,thetreatmentofVoIPserviceprovidersisadecisionforeachnationaltelecommunications
regulator,whichmustusecompetitionlawtodefinerelevantnationalmarketsandthendeterminewhetherany
serviceprovideronthosenationalmarketshas"significantmarketpower"(andsoshouldbesubjecttocertain
obligations).AgeneraldistinctionisusuallymadebetweenVoIPservicesthatfunctionovermanagednetworks
(viabroadbandconnections)andVoIPservicesthatfunctionoverunmanagednetworks(essentially,theInternet).
TherelevantEUDirectiveisnotclearlydraftedconcerningobligationswhichcanexistindependentlyofmarket
power(e.g.,theobligationtoofferaccesstoemergencycalls),anditisimpossibletosaydefinitivelywhetherVoIP
serviceprovidersofeithertypeareboundbythem.AreviewoftheEUDirectiveisunderwayandshouldbe
completeby2007.

MiddleEast
IntheUAEandOmanitisillegaltouseanyformofVoIP,totheextentthatWebsitesofGizmo5areblocked.
ProvidingorusingVoIPservicesisillegalinOman.Thosewhoviolatethelawstandtobefined50,000Omani
Rial(about130,317USdollars)orspendtwoyearsinjailorboth.In2009,policeinOmanhaveraided121
Internetcafesthroughoutthecountryandarrested212peopleforusing/providingVoIPservices.[58]

India

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InIndia,itislegaltouseVoIP,butitisillegaltohaveVoIPgatewaysinsideIndia.[59]Thiseffectivelymeansthat
peoplewhohavePCscanusethemtomakeaVoIPcalltoanynumber,butiftheremotesideisanormalphone,
thegatewaythatconvertstheVoIPcalltoaPOTScallisnotpermittedbylawtobeinsideIndia.Foreignbased
VoipserverservicesareillegaltouseinIndia.[59]
IntheinterestoftheAccessServiceProvidersandInternationalLongDistanceOperatorstheInternettelephony
waspermittedtotheISPwithrestrictions.InternetTelephonyisconsideredtobedifferentserviceinitsscope,
natureandkindfromrealtimevoiceasofferedbyotherAccessServiceProvidersandLongDistanceCarriers.
HencethefollowingtypeofInternetTelephonyarepermittedinIndia:[60]
(a)PCtoPCwithinoroutsideIndia
(b)PC/adevice/AdapterconformingtostandardofanyinternationalagencieslikeITUorIETFetc.in
IndiatoPSTN/PLMNabroad.
(c)Anydevice/AdapterconformingtostandardsofInternationalagencieslikeITU,IETFetc.connectedto
ISPnodewithstaticIPaddresstosimilardevice/AdapterwithinoroutsideIndia.
(d)Exceptwhateverisdescribedincondition(ii)above,nootherformofInternetTelephonyispermitted.
(e)InIndianoSeparateNumberingSchemeisprovidedtotheInternetTelephony.Presentlythe10digit
NumberingallocationbasedonE.164ispermittedtotheFixedTelephony,GSM,CDMAwirelessservice.
ForInternetTelephonythenumberingschemeshallonlyconformtoIPaddressingSchemeofInternet
AssignedNumbersAuthority(IANA).TranslationofE.164number/privatenumbertoIPaddressallotted
toanydeviceandviceversa,byISPtoshowcompliancewithIANAnumberingschemeisnotpermitted.
(f)TheInternetServiceLicenseeisnotpermittedtohavePSTN/PLMNconnectivity.Voicecommunication
toandfromatelephoneconnectedtoPSTN/PLMNandfollowingE.164numberingisprohibitedinIndia.

SouthKorea
InSouthKorea,onlyprovidersregisteredwiththegovernmentareauthorizedtoofferVoIPservices.Unlikemany
VoIPproviders,mostofwhomofferflatrates,KoreanVoIPservicesaregenerallymeteredandchargedatrates
similartoterrestrialcalling.ForeignVoIPprovidersencounterhighbarrierstogovernmentregistration.Thisissue
cametoaheadin2006whenInternetserviceprovidersprovidingpersonalInternetservicesbycontracttoUnited
StatesForcesKoreamembersresidingonUSFKbasesthreatenedtoblockoffaccesstoVoIPservicesusedby
USFKmembersasaneconomicalwaytokeepincontactwiththeirfamiliesintheUnitedStates,onthegrounds
thattheservicemembers'VoIPproviderswerenotregistered.AcompromisewasreachedbetweenUSFKand
KoreantelecommunicationsofficialsinJanuary2007,whereinUSFKservicemembersarrivinginKoreabefore
June1,2007,andsubscribingtotheISPservicesprovidedonbasemaycontinuetousetheirUSbasedVoIP
subscription,butlaterarrivalsmustuseaKoreanbasedVoIPprovider,whichbycontractwillofferpricingsimilar
totheflatratesofferedbyUSVoIPproviders.[61]

UnitedStates
IntheUnitedStates,theFederalCommunicationsCommissionrequiresallinterconnectedVoIPserviceproviders
tocomplywithrequirementscomparabletothosefortraditionaltelecommunicationsserviceproviders.[62]VoIP
operatorsintheUSarerequiredtosupportlocalnumberportabilitymakeserviceaccessibletopeoplewith
disabilitiespayregulatoryfees,universalservicecontributions,andothermandatedpaymentsandenablelaw
enforcementauthoritiestoconductsurveillancepursuanttotheCommunicationsAssistanceforLawEnforcement
Act(CALEA).
Operatorsof"Interconnected"VoIP(fullyconnectedtothePSTN)aremandatedtoprovideEnhanced911service
withoutspecialrequest,provideforcustomerlocationupdates,clearlydiscloseanylimitationsontheirE911
functionalitytotheirconsumers,obtainaffirmativeacknowledgementsofthesedisclosuresfromallconsumers,[63]
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and'maynotallowtheircustomerstooptoutof911service.'[64]VoIPoperatorsalsoreceivethebenefitof
certainUStelecommunicationsregulations,includinganentitlementtointerconnectionandexchangeoftraffic
withincumbentlocalexchangecarriersviawholesalecarriers.Providersof"nomadic"VoIPservicethosewho
areunabletodeterminethelocationoftheirusersareexemptfromstatetelecommunicationsregulation.[65]
AnotherlegalissuethattheUSCongressisdebatingconcernschangestotheForeignIntelligenceSurveillance
Act.TheissueinquestioniscallsbetweenAmericansandforeigners.TheNationalSecurityAgency(NSA)isnot
authorizedtotapAmericans'conversationswithoutawarrantbuttheInternet,andspecificallyVoIPdoesnot
drawasclearalinetothelocationofacalleroracall'srecipientasthetraditionalphonesystemdoes.AsVoIP's
lowcostandflexibilityconvincesmoreandmoreorganizationstoadoptthetechnology,thesurveillanceforlaw
enforcementagenciesbecomesmoredifficult.VoIPtechnologyhasalsoincreasedsecurityconcernsbecauseVoIP
andsimilartechnologieshavemadeitmoredifficultforthegovernmenttodeterminewhereatargetisphysically
locatedwhencommunicationsarebeingintercepted,andthatcreatesawholesetofnewlegalchallenges.[66]

Historicalmilestones
1973:NetworkVoiceProtocol(NVP)developedbyDannyCohenandotherstocarryrealtimevoiceover
Arpanet.[67][68]
1974:TheInstituteofElectricalandElectronicEngineers(IEEE)publishedapapertitled"AProtocolfor
PacketNetworkInterconnection".[69]
1974:NetworkVoiceProtocol(NVP)firsttestedoverArpanetinAugust1974,carrying16kCVSDencoded
voicefirstimplementationofVoiceoverIP
1977:DannyCohen,VintCerf,JonPostelagreetoseparateIPfromTCP,andcreateUDPforcarryingreal
timetraffic
1981:IPv4isdescribedinRFC791.
1985:TheNationalScienceFoundationcommissionsthecreationofNSFNET.[70]
1986:ProposalsfromvariousstandardsorganizationsforVoiceoverATM,inadditiontocommercialpacket
voiceproductsfromcompaniessuchasStrataCom
1991:FirstVoiceOverIPapplication,SpeakFreely,releasedaspublicdomain.OriginallywrittenbyJohn
WalkerandfurtherdevelopedbyBrianC.Wiles.[71]
1992:VoiceoverFrameRelaystandardsdevelopmentwithinFrameRelayForum
1994:MTALK,afreewareVoIPapplicationforLinux[72]
1995:VocalTecreleasesthefirstcommercialInternetphonesoftware.[73][74]
Beginningin1995,Intel,MicrosoftandRadvisioninitiatedstandardizationactivitiesforVoIP
communicationssystem.[75]
1996:
ITUTbeginsdevelopmentofstandardsforthetransmissionandsignalingofvoicecommunications
overInternetProtocolnetworkswiththeH.323standard.[76]
UStelecommunicationcompaniespetitiontheUSCongresstobanInternetphonetechnology.[77]
1997:Level3begandevelopmentofitsfirstsoftswitch,atermtheycoinedin1998.[78]
1999:
TheSessionInitiationProtocol(SIP)specificationRFC2543isreleased.[79]
MarkSpencerofDigiumdevelopsthefirstopensourceprivatebranchexchange(PBX)software
(Asterisk).[80]
2004:CommercialVoIPserviceprovidersproliferate.
2007:VOIPdevicemanufacturersandsellersboominAsia,specificallyinthePhilippineswheremany
familiesofoverseasworkersreside.[81][82]
2011:RaiseofWebRTCtechnologywhichallowsVoIPdirectlyinbrowsers
2015:TrendofusingVoIPservicesincloud:PBXesandcontactcenters,itmeanshigherrequirementstoIP
networktoachievegoodqualityofserviceandreliability
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Seealso
AudiooverIP
Capillaryrouting
Callshop
CommunicationsAssistanceForLaw
EnforcementAct
Comparisonofaudionetworkprotocols
ComparisonofVoIPsoftware
Teleconference
Dialpeer
Differentiatedservices
HighbitrateaudiovideooverInternetProtocol
Integratedservices
Internetfax
IPMultimediaSubsystem
ManagedFacilityVoiceNetwork
MobileVoIP
Mouthtoeardelay

Mouthtoeardelay
NetworkVoiceProtocol
Predictivedialers
PubliclyAvailableTelephoneServices
Pushbuttontelephone
RTPaudiovideoprofile
Securetelephone
SessionInitiationProtocol
Simbox
SIPTrunking
UNIStim
VoiceVPN
VoiceXML
VoIPrecording
VoLTE

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Externallinks
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