VOIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, might seem like a really futuristic technology. After all, when in history has someone been able to make a phone call over the Internet at a cost that’s pennies on the dollar for what a traditional phone service would have charged?
The answer is “ever since 1995.”
While VOIP is really starting to come into its own now and to be embraced by the public as well as by businesses, VOIP was actually first used in 1995. The idea was first created by hobbyists who figured they could send packets of data over the Internet rather than making long distance phone calls, which would allow them to circumvent the expense. While it was crude and required parties to both be expecting the call, it did work.
What enabled VOIP to move up from the basement, so to speak, has been all of the advances in Internet technology. With increased speed, more reliable service, and a wider network to draw on VOIP has gone from something that isolated individuals might use to something that’s accessible for everyone. Whether it’s a homeowner who wants to call family in South America or a business that has global clients, VOIP is a good way to make fast, reliable phone calls for significantly less money than traditional phone companies would charge.
How Much Cheaper Is VOIP?
VOIP is significantly cheaper than most traditional phone service, and what’s more, VOIP is often offered at a flat rate. Only when someone makes long distance calls will there be a small fee tacked on (a few extra cents per minute, which is a lot better than what other phone systems would offer). Not only that but VOIP phone systems tend to come with a bunch of features that would cost an arm and a leg through traditional phone services. Things like caller ID, call forwarding, spacious voice mail boxes and others tend to come for free with VOIP phone service.
Why? Because they’re just so much easier to provide, and so much cheaper for the company, that there’s no reason to charge the client more for them. So while VOIP might be technology from the past, it certainly looks like it’s going to be the phone system of the future.
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