Qwest today announced the first of a phased deployment of voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services to customers in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Qwest is the first major telecommunications provider to offer Voice over IP services to residential customers.
Qwest's unique blend of local and long-haul network assets make VoIP a natural evolution because the company can offer the "last mile" broadband connection to customers' homes through DSL and then transport the long-haul traffic onto its nationwide data and IP network.
With VoIP, customers can enjoy new features and:
- Go to a Web site and view a call log of missed, incoming or outgoing calls as well as "click-to-dial"
- Add personal contacts and place them in groups for later "smart" call forwarding
- Specify call forwarding locations for different groups of callers during designated times and days of the week
- View and listen to voice mail messages online (will be available in a subsequent phase)
How Voice over IP Works
Voice over IP gives customers the ability to use a high-speed data connection to make voice calls to others over the Internet or a private network rather than over the Public Switched Telephone Network.
Following is a description of the Voice over IP call process:
- Calls are made using a VoIP phone or a wireline phone that is connected to a VoIP adaptor device
- The VoIP phone or VoIP adaptor is connected to a DSL or cable modem at the customer's home
- For transmission, the conversation is broken down into smaller units called packets which are sent across the Internet
- The Qwest VoIP network provides the features selected by the customer (such as call forwarding) and routes the call appropriately
- At the receiving end, the packets are reassembled in the appropriate order and converted back to an analog signal