VoIP has seemed like it came out of nowhere considering how popular related services and applications have become over the past year, but industry enthusiast Reuben Yonatan wrote on Business 2 Community that the technology has a "rich history" and has experienced an interesting evolution. One thing people may not realize is that gaming VoIP, such as Second Life, is used by criminals to help hide information and evade watchful eyes.
"In a classic example of hiding in plain sight, there is so much information in games that it is difficult to police [to monitor], so criminals can talk to each other, including ordering hits on other criminals," he wrote."This is a worldwide phenomenon with international cartels communicating over VoIP."
Amir Orad, the CEO of anti-crime software provider Actimize, said on PoliceOne that since there is no governing body in these games, criminals are able to get away with certain transgressions. Law abiding VoIP customers shouldn't try this, but this could be seen as an example of just how secure the industry is, as even savvy criminals are willing to communicate using these services.
How long has VoIP been around?
As far as some actual history is concerned, Yonatan said the first VoIP call was made in 1974 on ARPANET, which was the precursor to the internet.
"Using an algorithm called 'continuous variable slope delta (CVSD) modulation,' a real time voice sample was sent at 16 kb/s between the Information Sciences Institute and Lincoln Lab between two computers directly, in August 1974," he wrote on Business 2 Community. "The first two-way VoIP communication took place in December of 1974."
The technology has already come a long way since then, and One way VoIP could spread and expand in the future is via more Wi-Fi. Yonatan said the Federal Communications Commission wants to make Wi-Fi free for all Americans. Yonatan said that if this is successful, users will be able to make VoIP calls far more easily than ever before.
All-in-all, he said the history has some interesting fact and the industry is now worth up to about $15 billion, making it a growing market that will likely just keep getting bigger. IBISWorld's VoIP in the U.S. report clarified saying that VoIP makes about $15 billion in annual revenue with 16.7 percent growth each year over the last five years.