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The media services landscape is changing dramatically. The days of delivering voice, video, and data services as distinct offerings—with each delivered over its own network, accessed using its own device, and billed as a single subscription—are over. Today, customers demand the ability to access all types of content across all types of devices and expect a consistent, high-quality experience across all environments.

An IP phone uses Voice over IP technologies allowing telephone calls to be made over an IP network such as the internet instead of the ordinary PSTN system. Calls can traverse the Internet, or a private IP Network such as that of a company. The phones use control protocols such as Session Initiation Protocol, Skinny Client Control Protocol or one of various proprietary protocols such as that used by Skype. IP phones can be simple software-based Softphones or purpose-built hardware devices that appear much like an ordinary telephone or a cordless phone. Ordinary PSTN phones are used as IP phones with analog telephony adapters (ATA).