VoIP The Future is Now - Impacting PSTN, Cellular Networks, and Beyond

Voice Over IP (VoIP) The Future is Now - Impacting PSTN, Cellular Networks, and Beyond

Explore the present state of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), its growing influence on traditional phone lines (PSTN) and cellular networks, and its promising future.

The state of VoIP, its impact on the PSTN and cellular systems, and prediction of its future.

VoIP is a very active. Many houses still have PSTN lines installed at the house. When our family moved back from New Zealand, we didn’t have a landline or PSTN line installed in the house. Only Comcast Internet was installed at the house.

An Obihai OBi200 VoIP adapter for Google Voice is installed at the house. The Obihai Obi200 converts the VoIP to a PTSN. The device contains two jacks: one RJ45, where the Internet is connected, and an RJ11, where a normal PTSN phone is plugged in. Once a Google Voice number is created and connected to the device, one can make and receive unlimited free calls in the United States and Canada, as described by Google Voice (2017). One can purchase credit for making phone calls outside the country. For example, calling a New Zealand landline on Google Voice is 2 cents a minute, as described by Google Voice (2017).

Everyone in the house uses cellular phones, so the VoIP line doesn’t get much use.

Our household still uses VoIP. If one is using cellular phone services such as AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Cricket Wireless, there is a good chance that when you speak on your mobile phone, the phone is taking advantage of VoLTE, or Voice over Long-term Evolution (LTE). Our household uses Cricket Wireless, which is owned and operated by AT&T. Cricket Wireless provides the same service as AT&T but at a lower price. VoLTE is VoIP that runs on the LTE network, which is now running the 5th generation mobile network (5G).

5G and LTE are the newest IP network that mobile carriers are using instead of the old 2nd Generation(2G) and 3rd Generation (3G) mobile networks that were circuit switches, and 5G/LTE is a packet-switched running the Internet Protocol(IP) as described by Cox (2012). When the mobile carriers migrated from 2G and 3G to LTE, they lowered the cost by having voice and data on one network(an IP network). Another reason to migrate to 5G/LTE was that 3G networks introduced delays of up to 100 milliseconds for data applications when transferring data packets between network elements, as Cox (2012) described. This high latency was another reason for migrating the network to LTE.

At the end of 2016, around 7.5 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide were in use, and Ericsson (2017) pointed out that smartphones made up around 55 percent of all mobile subscriptions in the 4th quarter of 2016. A quarter of the global cellular users subscribe to an LTE service, as described by Ericsson (2017). If all the carriers using the LTE standard have VoLTE implemented on the IP network, that would mean roughly 1.8 billion VoLTE or VoIP users worldwide.

VoIP is not a future thing; it has already been implemented, and many in the United States and other countries use it daily via 5G/LTE. To see if a mobile smartphone is running VoLTE, type the following code sequence into the mobile smartphone *#*#4636#*#*

Once the code is entered, a menu will appear. It should indicate if VoLTE is enabled. Scroll down, and one should see “TURN OFF VOLTE PROVISIOND FLAG”, which indicates that VoLTE is active on the handset as described by Quora (2017).


Cox, C. (2012). Introduction to LTE. Hoboken: Wiley. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781118818046

Ericsson. (2024). Ericsson Mobility Report [PDF file]. Ericsson. Retrieved From: https://www.ericsson.com/en/reports-and-papers/mobility-report

Google Voice. (2024). Google Voice: Calling Rates. Google. Retrieved from https://voice.google.com/rates

Quora. (2017). How do I check whether my phone has LTE or VoLTE support?. Quora.com. Retrieved from: https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-check-whether-my-phone-has-LTE-or-VoLTE-support

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