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VoIP Switch - The Direction of VoIP

August 30, 2013


Behind the trend of apps such as Line, Whatsapp and Skype on mobile phones, as well as voice-over-LTE (News - Alert) (VoLTE), is the trend toward voice-over-IP (VoIP). VoIP has gone from a glint in the eye of a handful of computer scientists to the future of calling.

Or, should we say VoIP has gone from one of several voice technologies to top of the list. VoIP has been around for awhile, but now it is king. Every day it rules a little more of our voice world since its benefits are so great.

This was not always the case, however.

VoIP was invented back in 1973 when ARPANET created the experimental Network Voice Protocol. It took more than a decade before this protocol was turned into something useful, however; the first VoIP audio transceiver was invented and patented in1989.

The first VoIP application appeared in 1991 when Speak Freely was introduced. But, it still was too early for VoIP, and it wasn’t until 1995 that the first commercial Internet phone software was announced, VocalTec Internet Phone (News - Alert).

VoIP as we now know it arguably arrived in 2003 with the emergence of Skype. By 2004, mass market VoIP plans began appearing and both consumers and businesses of all types began to discover the benefits of VoIP.

Now, roughly 24 percent of American adult Internet users have used VoIP, and 14 percent have used it globally. Among smartphone and tablet users, 35 percent have a VoIP app installed.

VoIP is taking over the voice world because it wins on price, portability, a larger feature set and service mobility, among other reasons.

VoIP is digital, so it can deliver features that traditional phones just cannot manage cheaply or at all. These features include the ability to receive calls at any number of designated phones simultaneously, to selectively forward calls, to automatically transcribe voicemail in many cases, and a multitude of other benefits.

As the likes of Line and Whatsapp show, VoIP also leads to unified communications where voice integrates with chat, video, collaboration and presence services.

VoIP offers phone portability and mobility, too. The same number can be used virtually anywhere as long as there is IP connectivity. The phone service can follow a user wherever he or she travels.

The cost savings are also, of course, great with VoIP. Businesses can save up to 60 percent on calling, according to some estimates, with unlimited calling often running only $20 per month while traditional telephony costs between $35 and $45 per month.

What started as a protocol in 1973 is now the future of calling. And it should be king for a long time to come because our lives are only getting more digital by the day.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

VoIP Switch - VoIP Comes of Age in the Enterprise

Traditional phone lines might have their place in a highly connected society, but the truth of the matter is, to stay afloat in a competitive business landscape, one needs a bit more than a plain old telephone system (POTS).

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