The difference between calls originating over VoIP networks versus PSTNs fundamental deals with methodologies of establishing dial tone and call routing. Placing a phone call using landlines over the PSTN is known as circuit-switched telephony whereas calls over VoIP networks are what's known as packet-switched telephony.
Circuit-switched telephony functions by establishing a dedicated circuit (or channel) between two points on the PSTN for the duration of the call. Circuit-switched systems carry analog voice (calls) and data (DSL) over dedicated circuits on a copper wire system.
Packet-switched telephony is based on digital technology and delivers digitized information (voice from phone call) in the form of network packets over the internet. Packet-switched systems rely on compression technologies and and encoding schemes to both reduce the size of data being transferred and optimize assembling of data for improved call clarity.
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