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Voice over Internet Protocol (Voice over IP, VoIP) is a family of technologies, methodologies, communication protocols, and transmission techniques for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks.
Long hyped as the next big thing which would slash business telephony costs, early versions of business IP telephony platforms were expensive to implement and delivered less than optimal voice quality due to inadequate network capabilities. With improvements made to network switches to support voice, quality of service (QoS) standards and a wider range of IP PBXs, IP (SIP) handsets as well as IP telephony service providers, the technology has now matured to the point where it is regarded as the de-facto standard for businesses large and small.
Vendors, such as Spectralink, Digium and Polycom, have combined the best of open platforms with wired and wireless handsets to deliver comprehensive unified communications (UC) business solutions.