Yesterday’s Voice over IP (VoIP) hype has become today’s market reality. Major carriers have rolled out services that are attracting subscribers with rich and affordable new features, such as number portability, call redirection, conferencing, e-mail integration, Web-based communications management and more. Residential gateways and client devices for VoIP are proliferating in the consumer marketplace.

The reasons for this growth are many. VoIP technology (the transmission of voice as packets over IP networks) has matured and interoperability issues are being resolved; broadband connectivity is growing and increasingly affordable; and today’s highbandwidth wireless LAN solutions can dramatically extend access to VoIP services. These factors have created an environment that is primed for VoIP rollout and adoption. Everyone—from carriers to end-users—is motivated to make the transition, and for the same reasons: VoIP enables richer, more personalized and better integrated services at reduced cost.