What is a VoIP Gateway?

VoIP Gateway equipment is a powerful technical device that should be considered when setting up your VoIP phone system.VoIP gateways are hardware devices used for converting Time-Division Multiplexing telephony traffic. They convert the Publicly Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) traffic into digital IP packets. That process gets the packs ready for transport over an IP network. Basically, VoIP gateways convert the signals so that they can be read by other devices. A VoIP gateway is also used to convert digital IP packets into TDM telephony traffic, which gets the packages prepared for transport across the PSTN network.

What is a VoIP Gateway?

How does a VoIP gateway work?

VoIP gateways operate as bridges between an IP network and the PSTN. Depending on where the voice traffic originates, the gateway converts it into a form ready for receipt by the destination network. That network might be IP or TDM.

Should the voice traffic start from the PSTN, the VoIP gateway converts the analog voice signal over to a digital signal. The digital signal gets compressed using a codec* and then is broken down into a series of packets. Those packets are then moved across the IP network using a signaling protocol.

In the event the voice traffic started from an IP network, the digital packets get decompressed by the gateway into a digital signal. That signal is converted into an analog signal and sent across the PSTN.

Session Border Controllers

Session border controllers (SBC) are network devices used to protect SIP-based* VoIP networks. The SBC provides call control, interoperability, voice optimization and security. The device, known as a “Back-to-Back User Agent” is capable of supporting businesses, regardless of their size, and adding protection to build a safe and valuable VoIP communication solution.

Even though it uses the IP for convenience, the telephony network is still very susceptible to security breaches and call theft. With advanced methods of examining and managing network traffic available, an SBC network device will help protect against attacks. Besides the security measures, businesses have the option of connecting to multiple carriers and choosing the call route based on call cost.

Finally, session border controllers use sophisticated call-processing algorithms to improve voice quality.

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