VoIP Gateways Article

VoIP Gateways Play Important Role in Changing Communications Landscape

January 13, 2017

Those of us who have been writing about IP telephony for a couple of decades would like to think we live in a truly digital world, where VoIP is practically ubiquitous and landlines have gone the way of the telegraph. The reality is that the PSTN is still very much in use, particularly in the corporate world, even as mobility and VoIP are being adopted at record-breaking rates.

The role of the VoIP gateway in the current technology climate is an interesting one, given the mix of IP and circuit-switched networks in use. Traditionally developed to connect calls between IP and PSTN networks, VoIP gateways still play an important role in today’s evolving communications ecosystem.

While it’s true that many SMBs are ditching their outdated PSTN phone systems in favor of cloud-based and hosted unified communications offerings that are purely IP-based, many companies still have a need for traditional phone systems. Whether they don’t want to give up on a major capital equipment investment or it’s simply a case of wanting to keep things “old school,” premises-based PBXs and PSTN office phone systems still abound.

And yet the communications landscape is changing significantly, and many of these businesses want the features and functionality of IP-based solutions applied to their legacy phone systems. In this scenario, the VoIP gateway is imperative, enabling smooth connectivity between analog and digital networks and devices. Many companies opt to use their legacy PBX (News - Alert) with a SIP trunk to save costs, and the VoIP gateway is an important part of this architecture as well.

Additional benefits of a VoIP gateway include least cost routing functionality, which enables specific calls to be routed through the least costly service route. This valuable piece of equipment can also act as a backup solution for the SIP trunk, in the event there’s an outage or problem with SIP trunking. The VoIP gateway can similarly act as a backup for a fully hosted IP PBX solution, should IP connectivity experience problems. The gateway can also work in tandem with an IP PBX, handling functions like codec translation to ensure call routing and connectivity isn’t compromised by heavy traffic and workloads.

Legacy phone systems and the PSTN are still very much a part of the communications realm, even as VoIP and IP-based solutions gain market share and popularity. And while circuit-switched and IP networks continue to work side by side, VoIP gateways will play an important role in communications architecture.

Edited by Alicia Young
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