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The History of VoIP

VoIP had been talked about long before Vocaltec, Inc. released Internet Phone Software in 1995. This software was designed to run on a home PC (486/33 MHz) with sound cards, speakers, microphone, and modem. The software compressed the voice signal, translated it into voice packets, and shipped it out over the Internet. The technology worked as long as both the caller and the receiver had the same equipment and software. Although the sound quality was nowhere near that of conventional equipment at the time, this effort represented the first IP phone. By converting analog voice into compressed digital IP packets, the software enabled PC-to-PC Internet telephony.

It's tempting to view the advent of VoIP as a singular technological event. In reality, however, VoIP is an evolutionary extension of decades-long communications and network technology progress. The highly reliable telephone network has been in a state of constant evolution for more than 100 years.


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