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Internet Protocol IP telephony is the ability to do what has been traditionally done over circuit switched phone lines PSTN but is done over an Internet Protocol IP network It is the real time transmission of voice signals using IP over the public Internet or a private data Intranet IP network The terms IP telephony and Internet telephony are often used interchangeably but are fundamentally difference in practice Internet telephony implies two users each using a microphone and PCs equipped with sound cards sending voice signals over the public Internet IP telephony implicitly has a larger scope and typically refers to voice data and images sent using Internet protocols across a network using packet-switching technology rather than circuit switching IP telephony is typically implemented via gateway switches that serve as an interface between the PSTN and the IP network such as the Internet or a private intranet see Figure1 It typically works in the following fashion a user places a call by dialing a telephone number of the access gateway which is a computer server that interfaces with the PSTN The gateway that handles the incoming call prompts the caller to enter the phone number of the destination and in some cases the personal identification number of the caller The gateway uses this information to identify the destination gateway closest to the called party The inbound gateway then transforms the digitalanalog signal into a data packet and compresses the packet to be handed off and routed over an IP network The gateway compresses the voice signal to reduce the amount of bandwidth required to reduce cost and reduce the delay impact from the network The destination gateway accepts IP phone packets from the Internet converts them back into voice calls for transmission across the PSTN Figure 1 IP telephony process The perceived
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