VoIP deployments can be categorized under two basic implementations: Trunking and Stations. For your information, these two categories have been around for decades. When used together they comprise a traditional telephone system. Almost every phone system sold today has the ability to use both VoIP trunks and stations.
The term “trunk”, when used in telecommunications, is your voice connection to the outside world. A common example of a trunk is the telephone line you may have at your house. As you can imagine, a VoIP trunk is one that is delivered over the internet, or more specifically, a network. I make that distinction because not only can VoIP trunks provide you a connection to the world, they can alternately provide services within your network – it can be used to link telephony equipment within your local network, especially if your local network is extended to other locations. In certain situations, is becomes either cost-effective or productivity-effective to link equipment together using VoIP trunking. As you may imagine, “outside trunking” involves paying each month to a provider for the connection and telephone nuumber(s), whereas “inside trunking” does not.
A VoIP station is a implemented whenever there is an IP telephone. IP telephones can be in the form of a traditional phone set that sits on your desk, or in the form of software designed to emulate a desk phone (a “soft-phone”). An IP phone is designed to replace a traditional telephone, so in many cases they look and function just like one. However, unlike a traditional phone, an IP phone connects to your network. It transforms your voice into data packets, which are then sent over a network. IP phones can be a very elegant solution when phones need to be deployed outside your office. All that is required is a stable internet connection at both ends.