The history of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

The history of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

During the course of this blog, and in our line of work, we talk a lot about the history of VoIP; and why wouldn’t we? It is at the heart of our business, after all. However, if you’ve stumbled upon this blog by accident, or are somewhat green when it comes to VoIP technology, you may be wondering what it is, where it comes from, and how it could benefit you and your company. Well, wonder no more; welcome to our brief history of VoIP…

The history of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

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What is VoIP?

Okay, so you’ve heard the name but are still none the wiser. What is VoIP? Put in the simplest terms I can muster, VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is the transmission of telephone calls via the Internet – it uses the Internet in the same way that regular telephony uses its series of wires and signals. Such telephone systems are incredible when it comes to business, enabling you to make cheaper calls with greater clarity to anywhere in the world, as well as transferring more call data than ever before.

When did VoIP first appear?

Voice over Internet Protocol needs two types of technology to function; the telephone, and the Internet. While the telephone had its first introductions in the 1870s, and the Internet in the 1960s, VoIP didn’t appear until 1995; it took many years of technological development to get to a point where communication via the Internet was not only plausible, but also possible. These technological advancements included Internet Protocol, or IP, in 1972, the increasing popularity of the home computer later on in the ‘70s, and the birth of HTTP in 1989; as computer technology grew in popularity and gained sway, more and more companies began to investigate its potential – leading us neatly to Voice over Internet Protocol in the ‘90s.

Where did VoIP come from?

The first documented uses of Voice over Internet Protocol come from a company called Vocaltec in the mid 1990s; based in Israel the company developed an Internet Phone that allowed computer users to communicate using an Internet connection, microphone, and speakers. Some years later other businesses began to recognise the potential of VoIP, and began branding their own equipment and software to enable two people to speak via their computers; VoIP as we know it today was born.

How has VoIP developed since its conception?

According to this article VoIP calls attributed just 1% of the number of voice calls sent and received during 1998. That number grew steadily between the end of the 90s and the early 2000s, as increasing numbers of people became aware of the technology available to them. However, there was still some way to go; it is argued that Voice over Internet Protocol began to gain credibility and popularity in order to topple the monopoly held by telephone companies, and in answer to a call for cheaper telephone communication for all. As you’d expect businesses were among the first to pick up on Voice over Internet Protocol, desperate for a way to communicate on a global level for as cheap as possible.

Today, Voice over Internet Protocol is incredibly popular among businesses and private homes alike, although the technology is perhaps better recognised for its ability to connect companies around the world. Indeed, you have perhaps been toying with the idea of going online in order to keep the cost of your calls down, and the reliability and clarity of those conversations up; we are in the business of providing quality VoIP phone systems, and would be happy to chat to you regarding your requirements. As technology continues to grow and change so too will VoIP; the world no doubt has big plans for the technology, and we can’t wait to see them.