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The History of VoIP

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

What is voice over Internet protocol, and how does it work?


VoIP, as it’s called, is a modern telecom standard where voice calls are handled over the global Internet and through the Internet protocol standard that routes network data, instead of being handled through the conventional public switched telephone network through fiber-optic landlines.

To understand VoIP better and figure out how it benefits your business, it’s helpful to look back at the history of telecommunications and put things in perspective.

Ma Bell and the old Telephone Network

When the traditional telephone was new, it was a marvel of technology.

People started setting up telephone lines across the country, and soon, the network became ubiquitous in public and private life. First, companies innovated the switchboard, automating aspects of landline use, and then on the corporate side, vendors figured out how to set up large multiline telephone network operations inside of a building.

Some of these conventional structures were called PBX systems, and they became more sophisticated over time, but eventually, we learn how to untether voice calls from the physical fiberoptic line, and the cellular phone was born.

“Wireless” Land Lines

The first cordless phones were not serviced by vast wireless networks. Instead, they were last-mile systems where calls still got delivered through fiberoptic lines and then rounded from a base to a receiver.

However, carriers were working on ways to set up the first fledgling voice call networks. At the same time, the Internet, which had just been born, was growing toward its maturity.

Carriers built cell towers and bounced calls around them for years, but eventually, some enterprising pioneers figured out how to square the circle, and suggested using the Internet as a quickly growing network to facilitate voice calls instead of just data.

This has been especially helpful for businesses where companies have to maintain a large number of lines for individual offices and desks.

Some of the best features around VoIP have to do with call handling. Because the voice call is coming in the form of Internet protocol traffic, it’s in some ways easier to queue, route, and micromanage calls. Then there is the convenience of phone hookups that link directly to Internet gateways.

Modern VoIP phones also have a lot of visual functions, where it’s easier to see who’s calling, or where you’re calling, and what’s happening throughout the call. VoIP continues to evolve, and we are at the center of it all. Our systems offer rapid calling handling, Bluetooth operations, and more. Ask us about how VoIP from Fonify can support your enterprise!

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