1) Spies

OK, that’s a bit exotic, but the earliest adopters of sending voice packets as data were intelligence agencies that were testing it as a secure communication method. And now the NSA is openly adopting VoIP to improve organizational efficiencies.

2) Carriers

Telecom companies were amongst the first to use VoIP. Anyone remember MCI? The early carriers had large portions of their voice networks use the internet, since it was one of the most cost-effective ways to compete on local and national long-distance rates. CLECs were also huge adopters of VoIP – since they competed mostly on price, they had to be.

3) Geeks

geek I still remember the programmable Pingtel SIP phones which cost $500 and looked oh-so-pretty. Now you can get feature-rich SIP phones from the likes of RingCentral for a fraction of that cost. My, how times have changed – but at least we got into the early part of Gordon Moore’s “chasm wave”.

4) Call Centers

Due to the sheer volume of calls they were making, call centers were among the first business verticals to really look into VoIP. Combined with this impetus was call centers’ migration offshore, making efficient long-distance communication technology a business necessity.

5) Gamers

XBOX Live users learned a long time ago the joy of trash-talking a complete stranger in a foreign country while playing Halo online. (My excuse is that the 12-year-old who consistently beats me plays Halo as a full-time job. I, meanwhile, have a blog to write.)

Photo by emma*k