What is a VoIP in Pennsylvania?
VoIP is the acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP enables subscribers to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line. Voice over Internet Protocol services are preferably transmitted over the internet. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), VoIP is one of the means used by con artists to defraud people. Individuals should endeavor to use a reverse phone number search tool to verify caller IDs.
What are VoIP and Internet Calls?
VoIP and Internet calls refer to the delivery of voice and multimedia connection through an IP-enabled medium, usually the internet. Voice over Internet Protocol service converts voice into digital signals that travel over the internet. However, if the call is made to a regular telephone number, the digital signal is converted back to voice.
VoIP calls include all phone calls, video calls, and text messages using the internet as the medium of delivery. With VoIP calls, data is transmitted as packets using IP protocols rather than traditional circuit transmissions of the public switched telephone networks (PSTN). VoIP is often used for fraudulent activities. Recipients should do a reverse phone number lookup by contacting a phone lookup service provider when it is necessary.
How Do VoIP and Internet Calls Compare to Landline and Cell Phone Calls?
Landlines transform small sound waves into electric energy with the metal disk inside the phone called a diaphragm. The electrical energy travels through wires to another phone, where they are converted back to sound waves that the recipient can hear on the other end of the phone.
Cell phones do not require wires to transfer voice signals. They convert voice into electrical signals using microphones. A microchip in the phone modulates a radio wave using electrical signals. The radio wave travels through the air to the closest cell tower, which serves as antennas channeling the calls through local base stations to their destinations.
Cell towers send the caller's voice to the recipient, and the process is reversed when the recipient replies to the caller. This system enables the same set of radio frequencies to be reused.
VoIP converts voice signals from a telephone or computer to digital signals that can travel over the internet. It uses IP network connections to transmit the signals to a recipient. If the recipient is a regular telephone number, the signal is converted back to voice. VoIP can allow users to make a call from a special VoIP phone, a computer, or a traditional phone plugged into a special adapter.
IP phones can convert sound waves into digital signals using CODECs, which are computer algorithms for compressing and decompressing audio sounds. Softphones and Analog Telephone Adapters (ATAs) can also be used for VoIP calls. Softphones are software-based phones that provide telephone services on a computer or web-based applications that function as hard phones.
VoIP calls are regulated by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The FCC requires interconnected VoIP providers to conform to the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (CALEA) and contribute to the Universal Service Fund, which supports communication services in high-cost areas and for income-eligible telephone subscribers. If a provider fails to comply with any of the rules, subscribers can file a complaint online or contact 1-888-CALL-FCC(1-888-225-5322).
VoIP calls have the following advantages over landlines and cell phones:
- Automated call forwarding: VoIP gives you direct control over your availability to others. It takes calls and redirects them to another line on the caller's request. A common example is redirecting office calls to your cell phone while on the move.
- Virtual assistant: VoIP offers a special virtual receptionist feature that can fill many of the traditional functions. It can answer phone calls, deliver recorded messages, direct calls, and many other important services.
- 3-Digit dialing: Using VoIP, subscribers can program any important number by giving it a unique 3-digit code. If you are getting these VoIP calls, you should contact a reverse phone lookup service provider for safety.
- Voicemail to email: With VoIP, users can transcribe voicemail messages to emails. VoIP achieves this by creating an audio file before emailing it to a preferred recipient.
- Improved voice quality: Provided there are stable internet connections and high bandwidth, VoIP calls can deliver HD call quality. VoIP call recipients may have to use a reverse phone number lookup tool immediately after the call.
- VoIP providers also offer virtual area codes. A customer in Harrisburg may obtain a number in Manhattan, and all the calls from Manhattan will be local for that number.
- VoIP calls use internet connections for transmissions and are practically cheaper than traditional phone services.
- VoIP numbers can be used on multiple devices simultaneously.
- Another advantage is the portability of VoIP equipment. VoIP numbers can be ported easily without having technicians come and set up new devices and connections.
Does Pennsylvania Regulate VoIP Providers?
Telecommunications services in Pennsylvania are under the regulatory purview of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC). In Pennsylvania, VoIP services are public utilities; as a result, they are subject to Tittle.66 Pa.C.S. §1501. The PUC regulates such services because they fall within the purview of public interest. All VoIP service providers are to obtain a certificate of function from the PUC. It is unlawful to offer or supply public utility service in Pennsylvania without obtaining a certificate of convenience from the PUC. This provision is made in 66 Pa. C.S. §1101.
What Do You Need for VoIP and Internet Calls?
To make VoIP calls, the subscriber needs a broadband internet connection and a modem. The broadband connection is most effective when they are immaterial. If you're on the receiving end of frequent VoIP calls, do well to do a phone lookup after the call. The best VoIP experiences use full FTTP or ethernet connections. VoIP will function over DSL and cable modem service.
Next, a router is needed if the customer uses a computer on the same broadband connection as a VoIP service. This enables data flow to appropriate devices. An analog to digital telephone converter is required. It serves as the link between analog CPE and the digital signal needed for VoIP. Customers can purchase the equipment from stores or buy them from the VoIP service providers.
Customers can also make VoIP calls with a landline, in which case an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) and a compatible telephone are required. The ATA plugs into either the wall phone socket or a router. If your VoIP method is with a computer, you need a laptop or desktop computer, the appropriate software, headset or speakers, and a microphone.
Are VoIP Numbers Different from Regular Phone Numbers?
A VoIP number is also a telephone number; however, it is different from a regular phone number in the following ways. These include;
- A VoIP phone number does not get assigned to a location.
- VoIP number utilizes data networks, such as the internet and internal enterprise LANs (Local Area Networks) to make calls.
- VoIP numbers can be assigned to multiple user devices.
Can You Make Free Internet Calls?
Customers can make free internet calls, but there are specific prerequisites for making such calls. First, you need internet applications that make free phone calls. These internet phone applications facilitate free phone calls in any of the following ways.
- App to Phone Software - these make free internet calls from mobile devices to real phone numbers. These services support making phone calls to any number, even landlines and mobile phones that do not have the app installed.
- PC to PC - free phone calls are made from one computer to another.
- App to App - these services run only on smartphones or tablets. It enables phone calls only if the recipients have the same applications installed.
- Computer to Phone Applications - these applications allow free calls from your computer to a regular telephone number.