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Chapter 28. Voice Over Internet Protocol > The Elements of a VoIP System

The Elements of a VoIP System

Every VoIP system is made up of four essential functions: hard and soft clients, communication servers, client and trunk media gateways, and application servers. Together, these building blocks are spread over a telephony or business-grade IP network, providing the necessary levels of reliability, voice quality, and traffic management.

Client Side

For end users in the enterprise, the VoIP client is their personal way of interfacing with the network. Traditional switched networks offer one primary interface, which is typically the phone sitting on the user's desk. VoIP client equipment, however, may take several forms, including a dedicated IP telephone (which may look very similar to an ordinary phone), a wireless LAN telephone, or a PC running client software. In general, fixed-function devices, such as the IP phone, are much more reliable, while PC-based systems offer more flexibility.


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