How Does VoIP Work?

If you manage your business communications, or are interested in exploring upgrading from a traditional landline-based phone system, you’ve probably asked “how does VoIP work?” Although Voice over IP (VoIP) technology has been around for many years, it has become an increasingly popular and convenient option for business communications recently.

In a hosted VoIP model, how things work is pretty straightforward. An experienced provider will do virtually all the work for you. They invest in and manage the VoIP infrastructure so you don’t have to.

What’s required on your end for VoIP to work in a hosted scenario? You need a broadband connection and the appropriate amount of bandwidth to service your current number of users. Your provider will work with you to determine the required bandwidth.

In addition, you need technology that will convert your analog voice signals to digital signals so the call can travel over your broadband (data) network. Most providers will provide plug and play IP phones for your desktops that require no complex configurations. They basically operate just like a traditional business phone. The analog to digital conversion takes place in the IP phone using an open standard such as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP).

You may also be able to use traditional phones for VoIP calls. However, an adapter will need to be connected between your phone and the data network. The conversion takes place in the adapter.

How does the hosted VoIP service route calls? It converts analog voice signals into data packets, transmits them over the Internet or private Ethernet connection, and then converts them back to analog signals on the receiving end.

To learn more about hosted VoIP services, download FairPoint Communications’ latest white paper titled “The Complete Guide to Hosted VoIP.”

By providing more streamlined, intelligent and cost-efficient solutions, FairPoint Communications helps businesses of any size get the most from their voice applications. FairPoint offers two voice options: Hosted PBX and SIP Trunking. A cloud-based voice service, FairPoint’s Hosted PBX eliminates capital investments in telecommunications equipment. SIP Trunking leverages an organization’s existing on-premises equipment by connecting it to FairPoint’s advanced softswitch network. Both options simplify network requirements, provide access to enhanced features and lower operational costs.

For more information on FairPoint Hosted PBX or SIP Trunking solutions, visit

Chris is the former Vice President of Product Management at FairPoint Communications, a leading provider of advanced communications technology in northern New England and 14 other states across the U.S.