I hate to date myself, but when I was a kid, my family had a rotary phone.  We had corded phones for the majority of my childhood. It wasn’t until I was a freshman in high school that we finally got our first cordless phone.  I envied Zach Morris on Saved by the Bell for his huge brick cell phone. Voicemail was handled by a separate answering machine box which recorded messages on a tape.  Attached to that was another small box that had a small screen that showed a caller ID for an extra $5 a month.  Social media and text messaging didn’t exist.  Email was barely used.  Video calling was something you only saw on sci-fi shows and cartoons.

As we entered the new millennium, cell phones and the internet started taking off.  The technology existed, but cell plans were expensive and the phones were primitive.  Broadband was barely starting to become a cost effective alternative to dialup internet.  Computer hard drive space began to rapidly expand.  Transfer speeds approached the gigabit threshold.  Video gamers, hackers, and other assorted tech geeks worldwide tested, pushed, and crossed every digital boundary we could find.  The race for innovation rocketed every industry forward at speeds previously unimagined.

Today we’re firmly planted in the new generation of technology.  Our feet are on the ground with our smartphones in our pockets and our data in the clouds.  Data services are becoming increasingly important as our communications transition from the old analog technologies to more modern digital ones.  Everyone is going wireless and mobile.  Recent moves made by large corporations like Microsoft (via their Skype service), Sprint/Virgin Mobile, Facebook, and Google are pushing the boundaries of how we view telephone services.

It used to be you were charged by the time you spent on the phone.  This model was used industry-wide and is reflected in pricing for long distance calls, cell phone minutes, international dialing, etc.  Now everything is looked at as data bandwidth.  We’re moving toward a model where you’re charged for the amount of data you transmit and consume.  This environment makes Voice over IP services the next generation of human communications.

If you’re unaware of what VoIP is, it merges voice and data lines into one line.  Do you remember a few years back when cable went fully digital?  Soon after, we had HD channels galore.  Nowadays you can watch basketball and football games in 3D on your TV.  VoIP is currently in the digital stage, and there is no better time than now to jump on the bandwagon.  As VoIP companies ramp up their services, their products are only going to get better.  I don’t know where the technology is going from here.  I can only illustrate to you how magical VoIP would’ve sounded to me 25 years ago…sitting on the floor of my parents’ living room looking up a number in a phone book to dial on my rotary phone. Then I can compare my flip phone from 2008 to my iPhone5…

I don’t know about you, but I’m going VoIP…