One of the reasons VoIP adoption is picking up is because customers are finally confident that they can pick up a VoIP handset, and it will ‘just work’ in the same way a traditional telephone would – regardless of whether they are calling a landline or VoIP line.
This seamless functionality is because of VoIP termination. Termination refers to the entire process involved with completing the call – the origination, transfer over networks, destination, and all fees and operators involved.
With termination involving so many critical factors, knowing a bit about how VoIP calls are terminated is important to make informed decisions about your service, so here is a basic rundown of concepts involved in VoIP call termination.
Call source and destination
Fairly self-explanatory, but none the less important, are the calling and called party. Clearly, the calling party is the initiator of the call, whether from a landline, mobile, or VoIP device. The called party is the endpoint that the call must be routed to, again, whether it be landline, mobile, or VoIP. This routing is handled by the network operators.
Usually referred to as providers or carriers, the network operators are the organisations who run the VoIP networks. They could be Tier 1 providers who are licensed to operate an internet telephony network, a Tier 2 provider who leases services of a Tier 1 provider, a Tier 3 provider who utilises the services of either, or a wholesale termination provider such as www.idtexpress.com. Ultimately, your network provider is responsible for the quality and termination of your call.
While this sounds the same as the source, it isn’t. Call origination refers to which type of infrastructure the call comes from. VoIP providers need to be able to communicate seamlessly with mobile and landline telephone networks, both passing calls to them in correct formats, and being able to receive and route calls that originate on these other networks.
Control of fees
Depending on the source and destination of the call, termination will involve some degree of cost. These costs can be kept very low for VoIP to VoIP calls, as data is cheap. Costs increase, though, if the call needs to break out to traditional carriers – landline and mobile calling being more expensive.