Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) converts traditional phone signals from analog to digital formats, which are then routed through the Internet instead of traditional phone networks. The result is a faster, clearer and even cheaper service that uses modern technology to its fullest extent, instead of relying on century-old copper wire transmissions.
VoIP technology is already being used in business telephone systems around the US and has even found a place in some homes as a cheap residential phone service, and it may not be too long before VoIP is used as widely in Europe as well.
European Internet access is booming, with more than three quarters of the continent's homes boasting their own broadband Internet connections. This makes an excellent case for residential VoIP services, which require broadband to reach their full potential. Without it, the service could be spotty, but broadband Internet ensures that VoIP service is even more reliable than traditional land lines, especially considering the fact that VoIP service has so much less hardware to maintain. Cloud computing means that redundant Private Branch Exchange (PBX (News - Alert)) servers exist to support one another should any part of the network go down.
One reason Europeans are especially prepared for VoIP is due to the fact that European Internet is also cheaper and faster than it is in the states. The average European pays lower fees for better Internet service – a price-to-service ratio that the United States comes in at 16th overall. With such Internet speeds, why isn't Europe already taking advantage of VoIP like the United States is?
The biggest difference is in the reasoning behind the usage of VoIP. In America, VoIP is more popular among businesses than residencies because businesses already need high-speed Internet systems to efficiently function. The modern American business relies on social media, video conferencing and now VoIP to maintain a collaborative and connected work environment, which homes simply don't need. Upgrading to residential VoIP packages means upgrading Internet service as well, and often it's still cheaper to stick with the land line.
But in Europe, homes already have access to high-speed Internet that can easily support VoIP, and they're paying less for it too. It's the perfect market for effective residential VoIP, and the transition may only be moments away.