Among the many VoIP providers in the market, a vast array of different qualities can be found. For example, some services produce a genuinely natural sound for a phone conversation because a company placed a great deal of attention to details within a system. When executed correctly, VoIP is like listening to an album on vinyl in pristine condition.
Though we live in a digital age, some people swear by analog technology for a number of reasons. In the case of many audiophiles, it is commonly believed that newer technologies don’t replicate sound exactly. Depending on the amount of compression subjected to audio data, the frequency (or sample rate) and the recording/processing capacities of a system, small amounts of information are lost or distorted when using digital devices.
Still, music and other media still have shifted to primarily digital formats because of convenience. With the adoption of ATSC as a standard device feature in the United States, every component made for electronics must accept these signals. This transition was enacted largely because of the popularity of HD technology. Essentially, more information is able to traverse these data rich networks so applications and hardware must be designed to process large amount of information in a data transmission. For very similar reasons, ISPs and private networks have made adjustments to infrastructure to accommodate greater traffic.
The internet and music
Not everyone takes advantage of free and accessible media available from the internet but a great majority do. The fact is, music streaming services are quite common throughout the world as are many other streaming services. These services are a testament to modern technology and allow us to harness the digital age in ways we were only imagining ten years ago.
This also creates a standard for VoIP services. You can stream a song over Pandora and it may sound better than a regular radio. People who listen to music online know that great quality is possible from these services so internet calls are expected to be just as good. Business can thank streaming services, in part, for teaching us that voice calls and video chats can be as snappy as the movies we stream from Netflix.
The influence of music
What else has music streaming done for VoIP services? Quite a bit, actually. Looking at most media streaming services, information is simply transmitted across a network by using TCP/IP to carry data as regular packets. On the end points (in particular, the receiving end) data is ultimately interpreted by a codec. This process of unbundling data combined with a well-constructed buffering system allows music to stream across the internet. VoIP works much the same way as many of the codecs used today were initially created for other media purposes.
Sometime in the middle of the 2000s, the idea for a more interactive internet hit a growth spurt. Take MySpace for example – every profile page had the ability to play one (or more) songs of choice to visitors. A high amount of bandwidth was consumed by MySpace users because of the capabilities to include streaming music as well as the ability to make these pages very media rich. Adding music to other sites and transmissions became a trend around this time too.
Features like music while you wait from an automated menu or IVR system became standard parts of business – such things played small parts in an early time of the astronomical growth that would be experienced by everything based around the internet. This also meant a greater demand is placed on physical networks as well, meaning this market had to improve transmission capacities to keep up the pace. The smartphone craze initiated shortly thereafter bringing a great deal more applications reliant on network data to the table, adding to the burden of a mobile and fixed line networks.
It is now essential to transmit information in a digital fashion as it is necessary to meet the demands for dense streams of data. Voice networks began to advance as the new Web 2.0 concept began to take hold, producing a higher level of functionality for web applications. This enabled VoIP services to become more popular as the technology for transmitting information became powerful enough to support high quality, real time calling. Funny enough, music played a big role throughout this evolution.
Best of the year
Today, VoIP platforms are numerous as the business world now heavily relies on this technology for communication. Quality is important to all aspects of a service used by a business. This is why the provider MegaPath was selected by TMC as 2014 Internet Telephony Product of the Year.
A critical component in offering valuable voice services is also having the ability to support legacy hardware as well. At this point in time, adapting systems to use older technology is a great edge to have over competitors who only offer a hosted solution for IP phones. It allows business to smoothly transition into newer technologies, much the way one eases themselves into a pool.
While sometimes it is best to just take the plunge, not everyone is so bold. If a company has a notion of unreliability about a service – as many have experienced at one point with internet service – it is more likely to be very strategic about replacing items related to the network for fear bottle-necking could occur if some aspect is overlook. Having the ability to say you can provide voice service at 99.999% availability like MegaPath is like a golden key for a sales team.
Though MegaPath many not be able to replicate the warm sounds of a vinyl album, having the resilience of a traditional phone line is a sure way to get your foot in the door of even the most reluctant of potential clients. Having total control of their own data network further ensures the company can configure networks in a highly customized fashioned.
It would not be surprising to see MegaPath surface in reviews for years to come. The company is privately held at this point in time. I wonder if there are any plans to change this in the near future?