Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) relies on advanced circuit switching to operate effectively. Traditional telephone systems are driven by circuit switching, a reliable but somewhat inefficient method.
Circuit switching is the result of two parties making a telephone connection, which is maintained the entire duration of the phone call. When two points are connected, this is known as a circuit.
A traditional telephone service works in the following manner:
With modern, advanced technology, traditional telephone systems now cost significantly less and are much more efficient than their predecessors. Today, telephone companies digitize voices into a single fiber optic cable. These are then transmitted at a fixed rate of approximately 64 kilobits per second (Kbps). Because this is the rate in each direction, the total transmission rate is 128 Kbps.
A packet-switched telephone network is the only alternative to traditional circuit switching. This enables packets of information to only be heard when bytes are created. Essentially, dead space or silent filler requires a small amount of space. Instead, packet switching sends data when it detects noisy bytes.
Data networks do not utilize circuit switching. Contrary to popular belief, Internet connections do not maintain a constant connection to web pages. Instead, the networks simply retrieve and send data as necessary, or when it requires an update. Instead of data packets being transmitted over the line, they are transmitted via packet switching.
Packet switching is extremely effective for VoIP businesses, sending data in small packets to network devices. When the receiving computer receives these small packets of information, it reassembles them into one massive file. This highly efficient VoIP hosted method helps decongest network lines, and allows business phone systems to remain free on each end.