History of VoIP and What’s Changed Now

Like so many modern advances in information technology (IT), VoIP is one of those technologies that everybody has heard of but very few know what it is, how it works, or why they might need it. Regardless, VoIP is pervasive and is part of just about every communications system and every call that we make.

Below we take a brief look at what VoIP is, its illustrious journey over the last two decades, and what new advances in VoIP technology we can expect to see.

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. In a nutshell, it is the transmission of voice and multimedia content over Internet Protocol (IP) networks.  VoIP historically referred to using IP to connect private branch exchanges (PBXs), but the term is now used interchangeably with IP telephony.

Although VoIP is the technology that lets us use the Internet to make and receive telephone calls, it is more than just that.  It allows us to communicate over a wide range of IP based networks including corporate Local and Wide Area Networks and global carrier networks

How Long Has VoIP Been Around?

Technically, the first successful VoIP transmission occurred in 1973. However, the first mass-use software on the market emerged in 1995 via the company, VocalTec, the same company that developed Magic Jack. At the time, Magic Jack was so ahead of its time, that most people believed that it was a scam. However, Magic Jack operated on the VoIP concept of converting phone calls to IP packets and using an Internet connectioninstead of a standard landline.

In 1996, VocalTec developed the first software that created the template for VoIP technology and launched an entire industry. By 1998 1% of all voice communication was VoIP-based including phone-to-phone and computer-to-phone software and devices. Once industry leaders recognized VoIP’s viability as both a marketable product and game-changing communication technology, it wasn’t long before tech giants such as Cisco, Lucent, and Microsoft began adopting VoIP. By 2000 nearly 3% of all voice traffic was VoIP.

As Ethernet expanded throughout corporate and carrier networks, it gave VoIP the engine it needed for fast and reliable performance.. Mass marketing efforts started as early as 2004 for VoIP technology. VoIP-based phone systems began to compete with digital PBX systems and hosted voice solutions based on VoIP began to emerge as alternatives to premise-based solutions.

VoIP Technology Today: What Has Changed?

VoIP technology has consistently shown both expansion and improvement over the last 20 years. Any issues that you would expect such as dependability, quality of sound, cost, or latency have all but disappeared, making way for more improvements.

Some of the latest advances in VoIP include:

  • Drastic reduction in cost:  Calling costs have become insignificant with the expansion of VoIP technology.  And as hosted VoIP phone system pricing has dropped, it eliminates the capital expenditures required to maintain, update and/or replace old digital PBX’s.More powerful: Cloud-based technology and better equipment have given VoIP the kick it needs to perform in less-than-desirable environments with slower bandwidth. They have also reduced or eliminated the need for dedicated and expenses circuits for voice.
  • Mobility: VoIP has become increasingly valuable, as businesses have more employees working remotely. Corporate communications systems can now be accessed from anywhere in the world across multiple devices such as phones, computers, and tablets.
  • VoIP and AI: When combined with AI, VoIP now offers features such as smart messaging, smart attendants, and greater capabilities in call forwarding, trunking, and dozens of other customer-centric functions.
  • VoIP and 5G: Thanks to 5G technology, VoIP users can expect faster call speeds, higher-quality signals, fewer dropped calls, fewer echoes, and almost no packet loss. This is a benefit for both remote and on-site callers.

Voice and Data Technology and Services in New England

If you are looking for a complete VoIP service provider for your business in the greater New England area, then contact Barry Communications. We offer a wide range of VoIP solutions and applications to fit any business requirement.

To find out more or to schedule a consultation, call us at 888-853-7120. You can also send a message on our contact page.