Wednesday, April 11, 2007

VoIP Land Lines Complement Wireless

The name often given to traditional analog phone lines is "land lines". You may also hear this term associated with digital services, such as T1 lines. Both analog and digital telephony have been provisioned on pairs of copper wires often buried in the ground since the inception of telephone service two centuries ago. But the term land line is also used to distinguish telecom services over copper wire from satellite and cellular wireless services.

You might think that land lines and wireless are completely different technologies that don't really intersect. But now there's a mix of the two that gives users important advantages. In this case, landlines and wireless complement rather than compete with each other.

What makes this work is a new form of land lines you can call VoIP land lines. A VoIP land line is a wireline service that carries packetized voice rather than analog or TDM telephone service. For consumers that's almost always DSL or Cable Internet service. Business users might also have T1 dedicated Internet service or SIP trunking for IP telephony transport.

VoIP land lines support broadband phone service. But that's often a secondary use of the land lines. Broadband lines are usually installed to get broadband Internet service as a replacement for slow dial-up. But once you have broadband Internet, you can use it for both your computers and an adapter that makes your telephone act something like a computer. What the ATA or analog telephone adapter is really doing is converting the phone signals from analog to digital and organizing them into IP or Internet Protocol packets that are indistinguishable from other traffic on the Internet. The ATA communicates with a VoIP phone service provider that lets your phone call any other phone in the world.

Seems like a long way around just to have the same phone service that's always been hooked up to that landline buried decades ago in the back yard. The reason people do this is that VoIP or broadband phone service is often much less expensive than what your local phone company charges for its legacy phone service.

For example, consider SunRocket VoIP. SunRocket is an independent broadband phone service that offers a unique annual plan giving you 12 months of unlimited calling anywhere in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada. Up to 100 minutes of international calling is included each month. Calling features that the local phone company usually charges extra for, like Caller ID, is also included.

The key to this savings, of course, is that you are already paying for broadband Internet service for your computers. The VoIP telephone service simply piggybacks on the DSL or Cable Internet broadband you have now. It's an especially attractive deal for Cable Internet users, since they don't need their old land line service for telephone or Internet connections anymore.

So what does this have to do with wireless? Just about everyone has a cellular phone these days so that they can communicate on the go. Where VoIP land lines complement cellular is that low cost VoIP service gives you unlimited minutes when calling or receiving calls. Heavy users of cellular know that you have to ration your anytime minutes or buy a really expensive plan with thousands of minutes. You pay a fortune and some months they go to waste. By having both a low minutes cell phone plan and home VoIP phone service, you can talk all you want and still have the advantage of mobility when you need it.

Wireless complements VoIP both for the mobility and the emergency backup. VoIP land lines are dependent on your DSL or Cable modem, Analog Telephone Adapter, and perhaps a router. When you lose power, you lose your VoIP connectivity unless you have battery backup on everything. When your broadband service goes down, so does your VoIP. Most people don't have that much trouble with outages, but it's reassuring to know that you can always use your cell phone to call 911 if you need to.

If this sound like a good arrangement to you, consider SunRocket VoIP for residential broadband phone service. If you don't already have broadband, you can find DSL and Cable Internet providers with a quick search. Need a great deal on a cell phone and service? Check out the current special offers at Cell Phone Plans Finder.

Note that these services are intended for home users. If you have a business location in need of excellent pricing on telecommunication services, try Enterprise VoIP for equipment, digital lines, installations and service.

Follow Telexplainer on Twitter