Communicate and collaborate over long distances.

Telephony, the technology that allows people to make and place phone calls, and share information across long distances, has changed dramatically in the past 30-plus years because of innovations in wireless networking and inexpensive computing power.

Telephony historically encompassed speaking from afar using hard-wired, analog telephones. But the advent of digital phones and data sharing broadened telephony’s scope to include phone communications, internet calling, mobile communications, faxing, text chatting, voicemail and video conferencing using a range of devices.

For instance, Verizon placed its first commercial wireless phone call in 1983 as the first step in building a nationwide network and developing mobile telephony solutions. Additionally, the integration of phone software and computer systems has gradually led to more sophisticated telephony solutions that are part of unified communications systems.

What is telephony?

Telephony describes the technology that allows people to interact and communicate across long distances through the electronic transmission of voice, fax or other information. In telephony’s early forms, voice and data communication were carried over a public switched telephone network (PSTN). But in the late 1990s, internet telephony, or voice over internet protocol (VoIP)  solutions, made better use of existing network infrastructure by transmitting digital voice over a data network. Combining voice and data communications over a single network helped companies avoid capital expenditures on telephone infrastructure and helped reduce PSTN tolls for long-distance communications, which sometimes cost more than $1 per minute.

How does telephony work?

Initial telephony communication systems required using a telephone that had a transmitter and a receiver. Someone would place a telephone call, and the sounds were carried over analog phone lines to a switch at the phone company’s central office and then sent to the receiver’s telephone.

Today, VoIP telephony allows you to convert voice calls into data packets that are routed across the data network to the receiver. If you want to place and receive calls at locations outside of your network, a gateway can help you connect different types of communications networks. For example, through a gateway, you can place a VoIP call to an analog telephone number, or vice versa. 

How can IP telephony and session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking help my business?

Communicating using internet telephony allows you to bypass the traditional PSTN system, helping control your expenditures on phone infrastructure and maintenance, as well as on long-distance tolls. With VoIP and mobile telephony, customers can purchase a specific number of minutes for a low monthly fee, even to and from overseas.

Internet telephony such as the Verizon VoIP and SIP trunking solution can help you use bandwidth more efficiently. Streamlining voice, data and internet connections over one network can help improve productivity. This is because during periods of high call volume, you can assign more bandwidth to your VoIP capacity. When phone usage dips, you can use the bandwidth for data.

Additionally, an internet telephony solution, when used as part of a unified communications system like Verizon UCCaaS, can make it easier for your staff to communicate, improve response times, simplify workflow and maintain business continuity. As long as your employees have an internet connection, telephony allows them to connect with each other and unlock collaboration tools that are designed to enhance agility and foster innovation.