Understanding some ways of online communication

Understanding some ways of online communication
January 13 15:06 2018 Print This Article

Online communication is a modern method of communicating through two or more PC’s no matter what distance they are in, once they have an Internet connection.

Ways of online communication

IP Telephony

IP telephony combines two historically separated worlds: voice and data transmission. It involves transporting the voice, previously converted to data, between two distant points. This would make it possible to use data networks to make telephone calls, and going a little further, develop a single network that is responsible for all types of communication, either vocal or data.

It is evident that the fact of having a network instead of two, is beneficial for any operator that offers both services; see lower maintenance costs, qualified personnel in a single technology.

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Data networks versus voice networks

The networks developed over the years to transmit the vocal conversations, were based on the concept of circuit switching, that is, the realization of an online communication requires the establishment of a physical circuit during the time it lasts, which means that the resources that take part in the realization of a call can’t be used in another until the first one does not finish, even during the silences that take place within a typical conversation.

In contrast to this we have data networks, based on the concept of packet switching, that is, the same communication follows different paths between origin and destination during the time it lasts, which means that the resources that intervene in a connection can be used by other connections that are made at the same time.

It is obvious that the second type of networks provides operators with a higher income / resource ratio, that is, with the same amount of investment in network infrastructure, they obtain higher revenues with packet switching networks, since they can provide more service to the clients. Another possibility would be that it will provide more quality of service, transmission speed, for the same price.

But hey, if packet switching networks are so good, why are not they already used for phone calls? Well, this type of networks also has disadvantages. They transport information divided into packets, so a connection usually consists of the transmission of more than one packet. These packages can be lost, and there is also no guarantee on how long it will take to get from one end of the communication to the other.

Imagine therefore a voice conversation, which is lost from time to time, lost packages, and that suffers significant delays in its cadence. If you have ever chatted, you will understand what I say. Sometimes during these Chat conversations, we receive two or three questions from our interlocutor, and that is because what we write does not reach him, because he continues with other questions.

These problems of quality telephone service through packet switching networks are decreasing with the evolution of the technologies involved, and little by little the time for the integration of voice and data communications networks is approaching.

Voice telephony so far

What we have until today is an access network, which includes wiring from the subscriber’s home to the local exchanges and the necessary equipment, and a transport network, which includes the higher-ranking exchanges and the communications links that connect them. The communication is carried out by circuit switching.

As we have already indicated, all the resources destined to intervene in the development of a telephone conversation can’t be used by another call until the first one does not finish.


Voice telephony with IP

In IP telephony the fundamental change takes place in the transport network: now this task is carried out by a network based on the IP protocol, of packet switching, for example Internet. As for the access network, it can be the same as in the previous case, physically speaking (subscriber loop).

The elements necessary for vocal calls to be made through an IP network depend to a large extent on which terminal is used at both ends of the conversation. These can be IP or non-IP terminals.

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Clare Louise
Clare Louise

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