Maybe you’re too young to have ever willed the clock’s hands to hit 9 p.m. so you could make your long-distance call without fretting over the cost of the conversation. But just 20 years ago, it was a different world, and nights and weekends were the time to reach out to out-of-state family, friends or old college roommates because the rates were so much lower than they were during the daytime.
We like today better.
Today, there’s VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol services. But what is it, and how does it work?
In simplest terms, VoIP transfers voice signals between IP addresses; to do that, the signals must be broken down into small data “packets.” The packets transmit individually, and then reconnect with all the other packets of data at their destination to re-create the caller’s voice.
It all started with a man named Alon Cohen, an Israeli-born businessman and entrepreneur, and the company he founded in 1989, VocalTec Inc. Cohen and his colleagues are responsible for the foundations of what today allows us see and chat with friends, family and business associates all around the world. If there’s a broadband connection, there’s the possibility of connecting with loved ones or colleagues wherever they are.
In 1995, VocalTec introduced their InternetPhone.
For the first time, one Internet user could call another, but not easily – by today’s standards, at least – and without video.
Just a year later, Internet voicemail was born, but as with any new technology, it was marred by problems such as poor connectivity, dropped calls and bad sound quality.
And then, in 2003, along came Skype.
The innovative program allowed computer users to make computer voice calls completely free. Skype’s instant messaging service, also free, offered myriad options for communication and made it a household name.
But the game-changer appeared on screens in 2005 when Skype debuted its video chat feature. Grandparents in Florida could see and hear their new grandson in Maine, and deployed military members could visiting with loved ones and see the familiar sights of home. The protocol has become so ubiquitous that it’s taken on parts of speech – today, you’ll hear “Skype” used as a verb to describe having a real-time video chat.
The model’s success has spawned countless other ideas from competitors worldwide, so much so that the market seems to offer new products constantly. Think back just a few years on how tremendously our communication methods have evolved, then imagine what will be in another few years. VoIP, we’ll bet, will be at the heart of it.
Today, more and more businesses are trading their landline phones for VoIP devices. Offering a more affordable and reliable solution, VoIP phones can be used in many different locations and configurations, making your business phones almost as portable as the cellphone in your pocket. With call recording, reporting and wallboard solutions and conferencing capabilities available, VoIP is the phone service of choice for the businesses of today.
Whether you are interested in the history or the future of VoIP, Vaspian can help you set up everything that you need to get your business ready for VoIP connectivity. To learn more, contact us today by calling 855-827-7426.