Traditional voice calls are carried over the PSTN network, a circuit switched network that allocates a dedicated circuit to each call. Internet protocol (IP) data networks, such as the internet, operate in a different way, splitting data into packets which are then sent individually across the network.
Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology allows voice and video calls to be delivered over IP networks, rather than the PSTN network. As VoIP calls are routed over the open internet, VoIP providers are isolated from costs relating to running the IP network over which calls are transmitted (these are incurred by the network operator and passed to the end users as part of their access charges).
The use of VoIP to make video calls was more prevalent than its use to make voice calls (although voice-only use will be understated here as it excludes VoIP users who make voice calls only on mobile handsets). Overall, 69% of regular VoIP users said that they only used it to make video calls, while 11% said that they only used it to make voice calls (19% said that they did both).
Data supplied by Ofcom, The Communications MArket Report 2015
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