By helloDarwin
November 24, 2023

What is IP telephony? How does it work?

For many people in business, the majority of day-to-day communication takes place via video or telephone calls. That's why it's so important to have a quality system that suits your business. Fortunately, since the early 2000s, a new telephony mode has revolutionized the world of communications: IP telephony. Thanks to its flexibility, efficiency and numerous features, this form of telephone calling has replaced traditional telephony in the corporate world.
Here's an overview of IP telephony and the benefits it can bring you!

What is IP telephony?

Where does IP telephony come from?

IP telephony is a revolutionary communications system that has transformed the landscape of commercial telecommunications. It first appeared in the mid-90s, when VocalTec launched the first Internet telephone. In its early days, IP telephony or ToIP was mainly used by businesses and organizations, offering a cost-effective and efficient alternative to traditional telephone systems. At the beginning of the 21st century, it rapidly gained in popularity, mainly thanks to the rise of the Internet. As the Internet became more accessible and faster, IP telephony was able to offer new features such as videoconferencing and integrated messaging. Today, IP telephony is widely used in many companies around the world, offering an advanced, cost-effective communications solution for corporate and SME telephone systems. Businesses have been quick to adopt this system to benefit from its advantages. With IP telephony, businesses can now establish clear, reliable communications wherever their employees are, and exploit advanced features to enhance productivity and collaboration. Thanks to its constant evolution and potential for innovation, IP telephony continues to reshape the business communications landscape, offering cutting-edge communications solutions to businesses worldwide.

How does it work?

This mode of telephony is a computer technology that transforms voice into digital data for transmission via Internet Protocol (IP)-enabled networks, instead of using traditional telephone lines. The audio captured by a terminal is routed via an IP network, implemented on a local area network (LAN) and then directed to the Internet connection for transfer to the recipient, while the audio data is transformed and received on his or her terminal. The terminals used are called SIP terminals and are connected to the corporate network. There are two more specific types of technology for IP telephony. By modem, which requires the telephone to be connected to the modem to convert the data, and by WiFi, which works by wirelessly connecting telephone installations to the Internet.
This has enabled IP telephony to gradually replace traditional fixed lines in the commercial sector. A major feature of IP telephony is that it requires no specific hardware apart from the physical telephones or computers used for communication. ToIP is thus used to create an internal telephony network for the company.

What is VoIP telephony?

VoIP, or Voice over IP, is often considered to be the equivalent of IP telephony, as it is built on the foundations of the latter and also uses an Internet connection to route voice and calls. VoIP is a revolutionary system that uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. Unlike IP telephony, VoIP is not just about creating an internal telephony network for the company. On the contrary, it offers a complete solution for corporate communication needs, thanks to a system hosted by a trusted VoIP provider. Companies can host their telephone system with an operator specialized in IP telephony. Voice is transmitted via the Internet to the provider, who then forwards it to the recipient. This is why VoIP is also known as cloud telephony, because of the presence of an intermediary.
Whether on a dedicated IP phone, computer or mobile device, as long as it's connected to the Internet, VoIP can work perfectly. Everything is centralized on a user-friendly interface, offering simplified communications management. There are a number of well-known VoIP providers, such as Zoom, Ooma and RingCentral, offering solutions tailored to communication needs.

The differences between IP telephony and VoIP

IP telephony and VoIP are often considered synonymous, due to the use of Internet Protocol in both options. However, one major distinction sets them apart: internalization. Indeed, the main function of IP telephony is to create a local telephone network hosted by the company, while VoIP takes advantage of the operator's facilities to transmit communications.
This difference has implications for the features available. VoIP, with its system supplied by a specialized IP telephony provider, generally offers more advantageous features. Users can take advantage of the various add-ons and enhancements offered by the provider, such as advanced voicemail, conference calls and centralized call management.
Another notable difference is the dependence on the quality of the Internet connection. IP telephony is more beneficial than VoIP in this respect. Indeed, IP telephony, thanks to its own internal network, does not need to go through the operator. It is therefore less dependent on the quality of the Internet connection. This guarantees greater call stability and a more reliable communications experience.
In short, although IP telephony and VoIP are often considered interchangeable terms, they do have significant differences. IP telephony focuses on the creation of a local telephone network hosted by the company, while VoIP uses the operator's facilities to transmit communications. Functionality and dependence on the quality of the Internet connection are also distinguishing features between the two options. It's important to take these differences into account when choosing the right telephony solution for your company's needs.

Stages of IP telephony implementation

Installing an IP telephony system for a company or SME generally involves several stages.

Assessment and analysis

The first step is to assess and analyze the company's current situation. You need to determine whether an internal network is required, and assess your needs in terms of the number of phones and potential users. It's also important to define the allocated budget, taking into account the costs associated with IP phones, which can range from $80 to $130 for entry-level models, and $150 to $600 for high-end phones. For users who prefer softphones, you'll need to budget around $100 for the software license and $30 for a headset and microphone.

Choosing a supplier

The second step is to choose an IP telephony provider. It's important to decide whether the company needs a supplier to set up an internal IP telephony network, or whether it prefers to rely on an external VoIP operator. When choosing a supplier, criteria such as ease of use of the proposed solution, system set-up, flexibility offered and call quality need to be taken into account. It is also necessary to choose the type of package that best suits the company's needs, taking into account the features offered, unlimited calling options and possible integrations with other tools.


The third step is to set up the IP telephony system. This involves installing the IP telephones on the company's premises, as well as installing the associated software or application. It is also possible to integrate additional functionalities or available tools, such as advanced voicemail, incoming and outgoing call management, or conference calling.

Training and follow-up

The fourth and final step is system training and follow-up. Employees need to be trained in the use of the new phones and the functionalities of the IP telephony system. It is also important to monitor the system's productivity and efficiency by observing certain indicators, such as the number of calls made and employee feedback.
By following these steps, a company can successfully install an IP telephony system tailored to its needs. By choosing the right supplier and following an appropriate installation process, companies can take full advantage of the benefits offered by IP telephony.

The benefits of IP telephony and VoIP

IP telephony offers many advantages to businesses, enabling them to get the most out of their communications and optimize them to improve productivity.


IP telephony and VoIP offer a number of benefits, particularly in terms of flexibility. It can easily adapt to changing business needs. The configuration and volume of telephones can be modified as the business evolves. Whether adding new users or reorganizing services, IP telephony can be quickly modified and adapted over time. This enables companies to remain flexible and responsive to organizational changes.

Lower costs

Another major advantage of IP telephony is its cost-effectiveness. Compared with traditional telephony, IP telephony offers reduced costs on several levels. Call charges are generally lower, especially for long-distance and international calls, thanks to the use of Internet networks. What's more, there are no installation, maintenance, repair or modification costs for the physical system, resulting in significant long-term savings.

A wide range of features

IP telephony also offers a host of advanced features that enhance communications within the enterprise. Features such as call forwarding, conference calling, video calling and voicemail offer greater flexibility and efficiency in communications. In addition, IP telephony can be integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, enabling better data integration and an enhanced customer experience.
To find out more about the various benefits of IP telephony, check out our blog post!

Switch to IP telephony now!

In conclusion, IP telephony has revolutionized business communications, offering flexibility, cost-effectiveness and advanced functionality unmatched by traditional telephony systems. Beyond its ability to transmit voice as digital data over IP networks, IP telephony offers a wide range of integrated services. The IP telephony system, whether in-house or hosted by an external provider as in the case of VoIP, offers a comprehensive communications solution that can be adapted to changing business needs. The future looks bright for IP telephony and VoIP, as they continue to push back the boundaries of business communications, paving the way for constant innovation and improvement. It's up to companies to exploit their full potential to maximize efficiency and productivity.
Discover the IP telephony experts in your area and optimize your communications!
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