VOIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, has swept onto the international communication scene over the past few years. While it might seem like a space-age technology that came out of nowhere, though, VOIP has been steadily maturing for decades. Understanding not only where it is, but where it came from, might be the key to deciding whether or not VOIP is really the phone system that you want to back for your home or business.
The Origins of VOIP
While it’s impossible to say who first had the idea of sending a phone call over the Internet, the idea was first demonstrated in the 1990s. The Internet was primitive then, and the idea of broadband was one that would still be pretty far away. 1995 marks the first time a software program that used VOIP was released, though. Not coincidentally 1996 marks the first time that U.S. telecom companies asked Congress to ban the use of VOIP technology. Congress did not ban VOIP, and it gained relatively little attention at the time.
Progress Of A New Technology
While VOIP worked, it could only do as much as the Internet would allow it to. In 1997, the original IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN standard was designed, and this led to a flurry of activity regarding Internet technology. 1998 saw the introduction of automatic switching technology, as well as protests in France over telecom charges for phone lines. It became increasingly clear that technology was going to offer faster, cheaper communication, and that this could be a threat to the old order where telecoms were making a great deal of money off of even basic services.
The Internet Comes Into Its Own
When high-speed Internet and wi-fi burst onto the scene it was a game changer for VOIP. For the first time since VOIP‘s creation there was an Internet that would support turning sounds into data packages quickly, and sending them through cyberspace at a rate that was either just as good or better than a traditional phone line. The software that would turn VOIP from something that was possible into something easy wasn’t far behind.
Far from the spotty, often-dropped VOIP of the mid-1990s, VOIP today is often indistinguishable from using a traditional phone line. Reception is clear, the signal is strong, and there’s no delay in the call that would even hint that it’s not on a traditional phone line. Not only that, but VOIP today is almost always less expensive than traditional phone service, and it often comes with more features for a smaller amount of money.
VOIP has been steadily growing for years, and it’s been estimated that it will be an $82 billion industry by the year 2017. There have even been some estimations that in time VOIP will become the new standard phone system (at least for businesses) and that traditional phones will be relegated to areas where VOIP service simply isn’t available.
Clarus Communications is a leading, national provider of telecommunications technology. Clarus specializes in providing over 60 telecom provider options to businesses that need dependable, scalable and innovative technology solutions. Since 2001, Clarus Communications has been successfully helping clients make the best decisions regarding their phone service, phone systems, wireless and data needs. For more information about Clarus Communications, please visit www.clarusco.com or call toll free 855.801.6700.