Broadband telephony is starting to take off in Australia with the rapid take up of broadband internet across the country. Skype phone and other services have been popular overseas and with low call rates and advanced services on offer the future for Australian VoIp looks good.
What is voip? Voip, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a technology that enables people to use the Internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls. Voice data is sent in packets through your high-speed Internet connection rather than by traditional POTS lines (Plain Old Telephone Service) or PSTN.
For VoIP in Australia operators offer a number of ways to connect including simply downloading software to your PC and utilising a headset via the virtual phone software over your broadband connection. Other options for even better call quality include utilising your existing handset via a adapter (sometimes referred to as a -voice box-) directly to your broadband connection.
Whats the benefit of a IP phone for consumers and businesses? Generally - substansially lower costs, multiple lines, self installation and a huge range of advanced features. Businesses also benefit by lowering overheads through the intergration of voice and data systems.
Engin (an Australian VoIP provider) Intel and Optima (an Australian PC manufacturer are in cooperation to develop innovative built-in peripheral hardware to enable the phone calls over Internet connections. The technology will allow Optima PC buyers to use their standard telephone to make phone calls over their broadband connection taking advantage of Intels Dual Core processor ability.
Broadband voice-over-IP telco engin announced it had more than 31,000 paying subscriber lines, with its end of March 2006 figure of 27,400 up 51 per cent on the preceding quarter.
Australia has been lagging with it-s broadband infastructure although with the expansion of broadband services and network speeds, figures for VoIp are set to rise sharply. Current players in the market are Engin, Firetel, MyNetPhone, to name a few, and some think it wont be too long before major telcos join the party as revenues from traditional phone systems fall.