File these away for your next virtual trivia night!
1. The first VoIP calls were over ARPANET, a military network that was a precursor to today’s Internet. That's right—VoIP predates the Internet, even though its eventual name has Internet right in the acronym. And the very first call was one-way. We know, weird. Almost as weird: That call’s speed was 16 kb/s.
2. VoIP as we know it today was developed by a couple of gamers who wanted to talk to each other in real-time while playing together.
3. When VoIP wanted to expand outside of companies, to the average phone user, they used ads before calls to pay for it. Think YouTube ads that play before videos but without the “Skip Ad” button. That’s right: VoIP set the stage for modern social media revenue models.
4. Organized crime certainly recognized VoIP’s value. They particularly used VoIP through video games like Second Life to launder money and even communicate hit information. It’s like Dwight Schrute guest starred on The Sopranos.
5. You don’t need an actual phone to make VoIP phone calls. Any device with an Internet connection will do! Bless you, IoT.
6. Because of everything from international calls to the lack of physical hardware requirements, VoIP can cut business phone costs as much as 90%. So it’s no surprise that Big Telco heavily lobbies governments to block or limit VoIP around the world. (Side fact: Saudi Arabia banned on-hold music.)
7. VoIP call quality is actually significantly better than PSTN calls because the frequency range is so much greater, making it easier for the human ear to differentiate sounds.