A short history of VoIP
VoIP is commonplace for business or personal use today, but who invented this communications technology and when?
What is VoIP?
According to Bebusinessed, “VoIP is the transmission of voice data packets from one IP address to another over the internet.”
VoIP works by transferring voice signals between IP addresses, compressing the sender’s voice signal, and decompressing the signal for the receiver.
A year later, internet voicemail was developed, enabling users to send voicemails over the internet. At the same time, VocalTec teamed up with Microsoft NetMeeting to create new internet phone software.
By 1998, VocalTec’s VoIP systems included computer-to-phone and phone-to-phone calling capabilities, but just 1 per cent of calls were made this way. Despite services being free, users were put off by the adverts that were a part of the calling technology.
As technology advanced and more companies started creating their own communications software, VoIP calls accounted for a quarter of all voice calls by 2003.
With internet speeds improving and the advent of broadband, the quality of VoIP soared, with fewer connectivity issues. Hardware manufacturers also created equipment that enabled more efficient switching of the voice data packets.
Introduction of Skype
Skype has had a big role to play in shaping VoIP history. It launched its beta software in 2003, allowing users to make free computer voice calls and instant messaging. Skype revolutionised the VoIP arena when it introduced video chat in 2005, which it’s still most widely recognised for today.
Whether it’s for personal use to keep in touch with far-flung relatives or for making conference calls to overseas clients, VoIP technology enables cost-effective communications and will continue to do so.