by Elizabeth F
IS 130 Research Paper
November 29, 2010
The Evolution of Telecommunications
During the past 10 years, there has been an extreme global change in the way people communicate. It started out with writing letters and sending them through the mail then landlines were installed in the U.S. and people became amazed with telephones. Fast forward to today and people use email instead of mail. A cell phone is a necessity instead of a luxury item and people communicate around the world with different social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. The days of needing a landline are becoming extinct. The new landline in our world is called VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). VoIP is a telecommunication system that uses TCP/IP technology to deliver voice calls to local and long distances areas using the Internet (Vonage,2010). Companies such as Vonage and Apple are going to be discussed in how they provide VoIP to consumers and also the advantages and disadvantages of using VoIP.
Vonage is becoming the new AT&T in today’s society. Vonage is a company that offers unlimited local, long-distance, and worldwide phone services using VoIP via high-speed connection instead of a telephone line (Vonage,2010). People have the opportunity to call 60 different countries unlimited for a set price of $25.99 (Vonage, 2010). The only mandatory item people must have to receive VoIP phone calls is a VoIP phone adapter. The phone adapter is connected to your existing high-speed Internet connection and then to your phone, and there, you are set to make phone calls. The best part is that your computer does not have to be used in this process what so eve. The people that you call they do not need a computer, Internet, or Vonage, they just need a phone. The U.S. is one of the most diverse countries in the world. People migrate to the U.S. from all over and therefore people eventually will want to talk to their loved ones and friend from their homeland. Vonage is the way to go when it comes to communicating long-distance and worldwide.
Apple is another company that has integrated VoIP in their IPhones in a similar but different way than Vonage. In June 2010, Apple released the new IPhone 4. One of new features that Apple concentrated in promoting was the FaceTime feature. FaceTime is VoIP but instead it is video calling using WiFi only (Nyguyen, 2010). It is a neat feature that let’s people video call anyone in the world. It also let’s people paint a picture of how calling people will be like in the future. The benefits of FaceTime are that it is free when using it, since it is used on a WiFi connection minutes will not be used during the call, you can switch from FaceTime video calling to a regular call, and of course you can actually see the other person when you are calling them. On the other hand, FaceTime can only be used by people that have IPhone 4’s, it is not compatible with other cellular devices except for the most recent IPod, and you have to have WiFi connection or it will not work. Overall the FaceTime feature on the IPhone 4 is very intriguing but at the same time it is limited to only IPhone 4 users.
When a company called Vocaltec first introduced VoIP in 1995, it didn’t captivate people’s attention because it was not the right time, and people were still stuck on the idea of a cell phone (VoIP History, 2010). At that time phone calls made over the Internet were of poor quality because high-speed Internet did not exist. Now in 2010, the Internet has evolved to a high-speed torpedo. The connectivity is extremely fast compared to 10 years ago. You can pay bills, shop for anything, call people, learn how to play the guitar, and so on. There are an infinite amount of things you can do over the Internet. Some of the disadvantages that VoIP posses are reliability and availability (Sindu, 2010). VoIP is ideally used in a household rather than in a business. Since VoIP operates through electricity, a power outage may occur and a business such as Apple, would loose profit by the minute, unlike a household. A business needs a telecommunication system that is reliable and secure(Sindu, 2010). Considering that VoIP uses the Internet, it is still vulnerable to virus attacks, hacking, and Internet traffic, therefore people have to install security software. VoIP can be affordable for a household but from a business perspective it is best to maintain a landline because of reliability and availability issues.
Overall, using VoIP is becoming popular in house holds and is changing the way people communicate.