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Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP as it is more commonly referred to, is simply the use of a telephone service over the internet. To describe this in more detail, VoIP requires both hardware and software to provide a reliable and convenient service. That is why it is important to choose a qualified VoIP provider to ensure you receive a package that meets your requirements.
Hardware includes any phones, laptops, desktops and routers required to link to the programme. Software refers to the non-tangible programme elements like your ADSL connection, Fibre, Wimax, or 3G connection. With these in place, the software acts as a medium to create a connection to the hardware delivering voice data over your unique IP.
This technology enables companies to communicate digitally with other corporates. Enhancing the company’s capability to easily reach key stakeholders, clients or suppliers, business can be done anywhere and at any time. This gives companies freedom and flexibility – much-needed advantages for businesses operating in fast-paced, technology-driven industries.
If you are starting out and are considering a VoIP facility for your business, take heed of the following process:
Any business that would like to remain on trend with market developments and keep up to speed with technology should get VoIP. In today’s testing markets where change happens at such a rapid pace, companies need to be flexible and up-to-speed in order to capitalise on the changes, benefit from them and make a profit as a result of it.
Companies, large and small need to be technologically-ready at any given time to advance and move forward. Ensure your company is ready for whatever challenges may come, and that you are well equipped to address them and turn them to profits.
Although VoIP is considered to be a modern and technologically-savvy way of communicating in business today, its inception started as early as 1973. This early adoption started as a result of an experiment to introduce Network Voice Protocol (NVP) developed by Danny Cohen. NVP was created for what was the basis and start of the Internet back then, designed by linking four university computers at the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET).
Later, ARPANET introduced Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) as an early packet-switching network, which further became the groundwork of the Internet.
In 1995, the first Internet Phone Software was created by Vocaltec. This software used the voice signal by compressing it and translating it into digital voice packets which were easily distributed over the Internet. Even though the sound quality was less than desirable, the connection was made if both parties had the same hardware and software. This marked the birth of the IP phone.
The market started adopting this new technology and web calls started taking place through the H.323 protocol rather than the Session Initiating Protocol (SIP). In 1995, broadband Internet hit the market and industry growth was directly affected.
In 1996, Vocaltec successfully launched the first Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the Internet phone. The network was delivered through the first real VoIP software application, and so the VoIP industry started gaining traction.
Soon various connections started surfacing for example, computer-to-phone connectivity, or phone-to-phone connections. In 1998, VoIP traffic represented 1% of voice traffic and tripled its growth by the year 2000 when it accounted for 3% of voice traffic in the United States (US).
As VoIP became more prominent in 2003, so technology companies started enhancing its software and hardware capabilities by delivering better sound clarity on calls and minimising latency. This took VoIP traffic to 25%. During this time Skype also launched, increasing business capability to make calls to landlines and cellphones.
By 2004, mass market VoIP began providing full service VoIP technology to companies equipping them to make inbound and outbound calls with Direct Inbound Dialling.
In 2007, VoIP device sellers and manufactures started developing improved products and growth spiked. As a result of the enhanced bandwidth efficiency and low-cost calling, businesses started growing their technology status and moved from traditional telecommunications to VoIP systems. This reduced their monthly costs considerably and by 2008 80% of all PBX users had migrated to VoIP.
Today, VoIP has grown to such an extent that it is seen as the ideal medium of communication for small to large enterprises. It is the single-most cost-effective method of communicating with sellers and buyers and expands business reach to across the world.
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