VoIP is the transmission of voice “data packets” from one IP address to another over the Internet. It has become an increasingly popular voice solution for businesses because it is easy to use and significantly less expensive than the traditional options. Because VoIP relies on a strong internet connection, it has evolved alongside faster, more reliable and more affordable internet availability.
In the beginning, VoIP served as a workaround for long-distance and international telephone charges. The pioneer Internet phone was created by VocalTec and was aptly named InternetPhone. One user was able call to another, which required speakers, a microphone and that both users be on the same software. In the years that followed, features like voicemail, computer-to-telephone and telephone-to-telephone calling capacities became available. Despite increased features, VoIP was still not particularly common or popular. Before Ethernet broadband’s boom, transferring information via IP-based packets had been slow and costly. By 2003, the number of VoIP calls jumped significantly to 25% of all voice calls.
In 2003 Skype launched its beta software, which allowed people to make computer-to-computer voice calls completely free of charge. Two years later, Skype introduced video chat into the software. In 2004, several full-service VoIP providers offering attractive pricing and unlimited usage. Around this time, consumers started to recognize that VoIP calling was a great deal for avoiding fees associated with long-distance telephone calls; businesses with an international presence or overseas suppliers began to recognize the huge savings opportunity.
Advancements in internet speeds has completely changed the VoIP market. Not only does VoIP offer less expensive, more flexible service, it has features unparalleled by traditional phone options. A strong and reliable internet connection remains as the most important piece of the VoIP puzzle. Increased availability of a fibre internet is the most recent development that has made making the switch to VoIP a no-brainer.