It would seem quite strange if, by now, you haven’t heard the term VoIP or VoIP technology before, considering it has been named nothing less than the most successful technology of the last decade! If you indeed aren’t familiar with it, chances are big you’re already using it without knowing. And if you are aware of the term, but don’t know what it is or what it means, you’re in the right place.
Meaning Voice over Internet Protocol, VoIP is a revolutionary technology that delivers voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. In more simple words, it is an alternative and cheaper way of making and receiving phone calls.
Other terms such as Internet telephony, broadband telephony, and broadband phone service specifically refer to the supply of voice, fax SMS, voice-messaging and other communication services over the Internet, instead of via the PSTN (public switched telephone network).
How does VoIP technology work?
VoIP technology transforms your voice into a digital signal that travels over the Internet. If you call a regular phone number, the signal is converted back to a regular telephone signal before it reaches the other end. VoIP allows you to make phone calls directly from a computer, a special VoIP phone, or a traditional phone connected to a special adapter.
VoIP services and equipment
VoIP is available in a wide range of services from basic, free ones that require all parties to be at their computers to make or receive calls to each other, to more advanced services that let you call from a traditional telephone to any other phone.
In order to use VoIP, all you need is an Internet connection, a traditional phone with an adapter; a VoIP-enabled phone; or a VoIP software on your computer; and of course a VoIP service provider
Why is it the most successful technology of the last decade?
The main reason for VoIP’s outstanding success is the technology’s low or free cost. For businesses worldwide, VoIP has become an easy solution to reducing the monthly phone bill while improving interaction between employees and with local and long-distance customers through its various communication features. For individuals, VoIP has become a free, fun and fast way to communicate via computers and smart devices.
The first VoIP services were launched in 2004 and Skype was one of the first apps to use the technology and it is still one of the most popular VoIP apps available. It has allowed people to make and receive voice and video calls and send instant messages for free from anywhere in the world.
Today numerous apps such as WhatsApp, Google Talk, and Facebook messenger also use VoIP. This is why most certainly you’ve been using VoIP for a while and didn’t even realize it.
Low-cost or free of cost?
VoIP technology can be free when it is used with computers and, in some cases, with mobile and landline phones. However, it does have a price when it comes to completely replacing the PSTN service. The good news though is that this price is still way cheaper than traditional phone calls, so you can still cut down on those international calls cost by 90%.
The VoIP trend
The growth of the VoIP technology and the VoIP industry today can be compared to that of the Internet in the early 90’s. Individuals and businesses are more and more aware of the advantages it brings, and are increasingly adopting VoIP as a way of life. The technology is expected to have major advances in the near future and, most likely, will one day replace the traditional phone system entirely.