Ask a Telecoms Consultant: What is VoIP?

What role does VoIP play in Telecommunications?

VoIP has really taken off in the last decade and there are now so many offerings on the market that many choose to employ a designated telecoms consultant just to make sense of them all. But here’s a quick break down.

VoIP stands for “Voice over Internet Protocol” and refers to voice calls that use broadband, as opposed to using standard conventional or analog phones lines. You may also have heard VoIP referred to as Voice over Broadband (VoBB), IP telephony, Internet telephony, or Internet calling. VoIP has been named one of the most successful technologies of the last decade.

The history of VoIP

The invention of VoIP began in 1995 with the introduction of the first widely available Internet phone, by a company called VocalTec. It was called, quite simply, InternetPhone, and the service allowed two users to hold a phone call using only their broadband connection, providing that both parties were using the same software.

The first VoIP service that became widely recognised and adopted by the public, however, was Skype, which was introduced almost a decade later. In 2003, Skype introduced an offering that revolutionised telecoms by enabling its users to make worldwide phone calls from any device, providing that the device had an Internet connection. It also allowed users to hold voice calls, using their broadband connection, completely free of charge.

Since then, VoIP has continued to grow in popularity and many other telecoms and unified communications companies have followed Skype and introduced their own VoIP offerings to the market. It is forecast that, by the end of 2017, there will be 1 billion VoIP users worldwide. Furthermore, the VoIP services market is expected to grow to $140 billion USD by the end of the year 2021.

Now, let us investigate as to why VoIP has become so popular and, moreover, why businesses and individuals alike are favouring IP telephony over conventional telecommunications…

What are the benefits of VoIP?

  • VoIP allows its user to make cheap, and often even free, calls worldwide. Providing that the users at either end of the call both have an Internet connection, the call should be totally free.
  • VoIP achieves further cost efficiency by using your existing infrastructure because almost everyone will already have a broadband connection. This means there is little to no implementation cost to get you up and running.
  • VoIP is totally portable. You can use your VoIP number to log in and access your calls anywhere that has a broadband connection.
  • VoIP is multi-functional and can offer more communication features than a traditional telecoms system, such as video conferencing capabilities.

Which VoIP offering is best for me?

Since Skype successfully brought VoIP to the mainstream over a decade ago, many other telecoms and unified communications companies have introduced their own VoIP offerings to the market. The most appropriate VoIP system available will vary depending on the user and what they require from their telecommunications.

Telecoms Consultancy by 4C Strategies

If you’re looking to find the best VoIP system for you, it may be best to hire a telecoms consultant to help you understand which of the many market offerings would best suit your requirements. 4C Strategies is a group of telecoms consultants with demonstrable experience in VoIP and will be able to ascertain and recommend the best system for your individual telecommunication needs. For assistance, please call 4C on 01858 438938, or email webenquiries@4c.co.uk, and we will be more than happy to speak with you and, should you wish, book a formal consultation to assess your options.