Voice Over IP Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is the process of making voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line.

10 Common VoIP Terms To Know

Here are a few terms defined to make VoIP seem less intimidating:


Voice over internet protocol.  In the 90’s, data was transmitted over the phone network.  Now voice communication is transmitted over data networks, like a MPLS network.  It’s just a better use of resources.

Dynamic Bandwidth:

Instead of the traditional segmented integrated T1’s, integrated T1’s today offer dynamic bandwidth.  That means that whatever bandwidth that is required to place a phone call is freed up when the call is completed.  Dynamic bandwidth is offered by almost every provider, including Qwest, Integra, TW Telecom and XO.

Class of Service:

Class of Service allows the prioritizing of real time traffic, like voice and video, over traditional data traffic.


Quality of Service.  Term to describe the voice quality on a Voice over IP service.  QoS is improved by managing the jitter and latency levels on the internet service that the VoIP rides on.


Jitter is the variation in the time between packets arriving, caused by network congestion, timing drift or route changes.  Jitter has the biggest effect on the quality of speech on a VoIP circuit.


Delay on an internet connection.


Session Initiation Protocol.  A voice path over the Internet.  Allows for voice communication over almost any business internet connection.

Prioritizing Traffic:

What’s necessary to assure quality voice communication, like SIP. over the internet.  Real time traffic, like voice and video, is given a priority over data traffic.


A way to reduce the amount of bandwidth necessary to make a phone call.  By using compression, there can be more simultaneous phone calls on an internet circuit.  Compression can have a negative effect on call quality and fax transmissions, however.


Multiprotocol Label Switching.  A private network on the public internet where priorities can be set where real time traffic, like voice and video, takes priority over data traffic.

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