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Difference between data communications and IP based solution

For a novice, what is the difference between a data communications solution and an IP based solution?
VoIP is a communications solution where voice travels across the same network and in the same way as data. Previously, the main difference between data and voice transmission is that voice needs to travel in a continuous, related and connected stream. To travel over the Internet, sound waves need to be digitized and packetized to be sent as bits. When your voice is broken up into packets at one end and assembled back into a stream at the other end, a delay of more than 100ms or data loss makes the voice transmission unrecognizable (choppy voice or silence). Data communications networks were developed without any concept of time between the two ends of the communication. To overcome this, networks capable of transmitting voice with any fidelity must have a certain Quality of Service (QoS). QoS refers to the network guaranteeing certain packets to receive preferential passage over others because their contents are time sensitive and need to arrive in a smooth, continuous manner.
This was last published in April 2005

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