The history of the telephone is longer than you think, it actually reaches back to 1672 when a man called Robert Hooke discovered that sound could travel along a wire or string from a mouthpiece to an earpiece. But it wasn’t until the mid-eighteenth century when this technology started to be explored.
Arguably there has been more progress made in telecommunications in the last three decades than in the last three centuries, one of those innovations has been VOIP technology. In this article, we look at why VOIP has been so successful in recent decades and consider the future of making calls with VOIP.
A Brief History of VOIP
VOIP was developed in 1995 as a way for businesses (primarily) to save money on long-distance phone calls. It was discovered that cheap or free Internet calls could be made between servers that drastically cut conventional telecommunications costs.
From 1996 onwards VOIP infrastructure and services have continued to expand with voicemail applications, multiple devices calling capabilities, and video conferencing services. Into the 21st century and companies realised they could transfer information over IP as well, further enhancing VOIP capability.
Today it’s unthinkable for businesses to operate without a VOIP system in place. VOIP offers high-quality reliable connectivity at a low cost and also syncs nicely with emerging technologies such as IoT and UC. The present rise of VOIP can be easily likened to the Internet boom of the early 90s.
VOIP: An Overview
VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. Unlike legacy phone networks, VOIP turns the voice signals into digital ones and sends them through the Internet to a target server. VOIP technology uses Packet-Switched Protocols meaning that voice and data are sent in signal “packets.”
Companies predominantly use VOIP networks today because they integrate both phone and data services into an existing network. Apart from being cheaper than legacy systems, VOIP allows companies to transmit information and data files as well.
Using a VOIP network is virtually indistinguishable from using a traditional telephone line. The VOIP devices are plugged into an Internet connection and digital signals are sent instead of electrical signals, this makes it possible to dial and contact anyone on the global network.
How VOIP Works
VOIP is the 21st Century version of a global telephone network. Although landline telephones and legacy networks are still used there is a clear trend towards mobile networks and VOIP services – so how does VOIP technology actually work?
In a way, it is exactly the same as recording your voice onto your computer. To do this you talk into a microphone and your computer records a limited frequency range using CODECS. The computer might also compress this file to save space. VOIP works the same way but it uses more sophisticated CODECs.
The audio recorded by the computer is then grouped together into “data packets” which are transmitted over the IP network. These data packets contain around 10 milliseconds of audio. The same server protocol is used for VOIP as other data transmissions.
The Benefits of VOIP
It’s clear that VOIP networks are the future, and here’s why.
Because VOIP uses an Internet connection and transmits data digitally it slashed the costs of using multiple phone-ins on a legacy system. Internet service providers will usually offer businesses a “call bundle” with a discount on their VOIP service.
Higher Call Quality
Unlike traditional telephone lines that can suffer from interference, VOIP services use a strong and stable Internet connection. There is little chance of interference during important calls. VOIP telephone systems also offer HD voice for excellent clarity and crisp audio.
A VOIP service can be built around the needs of your business and tailored to you. You can add thousands of users to your network at no extra cost. The only limit to this is your bandwidth which can be modified separately at the router or with the service provider.
The aim of any business is to grow and become more profitable but that isn’t easy on a traditional network that requires more investment to add users. VOIP networks don’t have this issue, they can grow flexibly with your business at no extra cost.
The Future of Making Calls
The Future is looking up for VOIP networks, mainly because so much innovation is happening in the communications sector. New technologies are arriving such as AI and Machine Learning, and the increased use of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Unified Communications (UC).
As it happens VOIP systems link up nicely with these emerging technologies. Take the IoT for example, there is an ever-growing number of smart devices linking to one another and data such as calendar updates and messages can be sent over the VOIP networks. VOIP is also better at connecting devices.
VOIP also links up nicely with UC which describes the process of bringing all communication resources together for maximum productivity. In the coming years, more communication and data will be sent via Web and video conferencing, something VOIP is made to facilitate.
Get ahead with Wave
With all this in mind, it makes sense to get ahead of the curve and invest your business in VOIP technology today. There isn’t a lot to think about, VOIP technology is not only cheaper and more efficient, but it is also the future of integrated business networks – so why pass up on a golden opportunity.
If you are still invested in multiple phone lines to run your business you are paying too much for your communications network, you are also on the legacy side of technology instead of riding a WAVE to the future. You can switch to Wave Internet quickly and adapt your package according to business needs.
Wave Internet doesn’t only cater to business customers, you can also benefit from VOIP as a domestic user. Think of the future, the Internet of things, unified communications, artificial intelligence and machine learning. This is a rising tide of possibilities for you, so ready your board in the water and get in touch.