New VoIP Technologies for 2018Posted on: 2017-12-05 | Categories: VoIP Services
VoIP and the future of telecommunications is a hot topic in the business world. The switch over from PSTN to VoIP was not a sudden change. Instead adoption has grown among enterprises over the last decade. Indeed experts are now predicting that the end of the PSTN is no longer a question of if but rather when. Business organizations are setting up VoIP as the backbone for all communications – both internal and external.
VoIP has surpassed the PSTN as the technology of choice for businesses. The proportion of organizations that rely on PSTN lines continues to decrease each year. A few of the larger corporations rely on a mix of T1, PRI and ISDN lines. Concerns over sound quality and reliability have faded into the background as providers strive to improve both all the time. In fact, the main obstacle for many businesses is the lack of robust network infrastructure or slow Internet speeds. As broadband access improves to more locations, VoIP adoption will continue to accelerate.
Already we see organizations are using VoIP in new and innovative ways. When the technology first launched, few people would have envisioned a future where the phone system would integrate with other enterprise tools like CRM software. Organizations wouldn’t have unified communication suites without VoIP as a backbone. People used to think that VoIP was simply a way to make cheap or free calls. Now everyone knows it is so much more than that. The history of VoIP is easy enough to trace but what of the future?
The End of the PSTN
Whether it happens in five years or ten, the end of the PSTN is certain. As of now, some organizations continue to use a mix of VoIP and landlines. A couple of landlines come in useful for legacy features such as faxing or to integrate with other tools like alarm systems. But at some point support for them will go away. There are quite a few states that have already relaxed the regulation of landlines, enabling carriers to focus on expanding their VoIP network.
Telephone operators are replacing copper lines with fiber-optic cables for Internet access. In other areas, maintenance of copper wires has been cut down to almost zero. If your business has not already transitioned to VoIP, it is time to start making plans for it.
The Biggest Priority – Mobile
Until recently, the tug-of-war between VoIP and PSTN hogged media headlines. Now a third contender has emerged. A surprising number of businesses rely solely on cellular networks for their telecommunication needs. Something like this would’ve been unthinkable even five years ago. However startups, online only businesses and entrepreneurs are finding that mobile phones are sufficient for their needs. When these businesses grow to the point where they require business class phone systems, they’re not likely to consider any provider that does not support mobile.
In fact mobile is the biggest reason for selecting one VoIP provider over the other. Organizations demand interoperability with mobile phones, mobile specific VoIP applications and the ability to use most features on mobile devices from VoIP. The biggest carriers in the US have invested heavily in HD voice and Voice over LTE technologies. The future of business communication is clear and it is definitely not landlines.
Looking Forward to 5G
The fact that many areas lack 4G network access has not stopped providers from working on the next-generation of data connections. We’re likely to see 5G come online in some areas over the next couple of years. Experts predict that 5G will up to 10 times faster than the fastest 4G networks. For businesses, it will translate to better audio quality and crystal clear video. You will be able to add more users to conference calls. It can even potentially eliminate jittery video and the need for buffering every so often.
Smartphones have replaced the need for computers in many areas. Tasks that used to rely on desktops are now more convenient on handheld devices. VoIP software will have to integrate with mobile specific applications and software. We can already see some examples of interoperability like the click to call functionality on websites.
The field of telecommunications is changing rapidly. While consumers were the early adopters of VoIP, businesses did not lag far behind. In fact enterprise demand is driving most of the innovation and growth in the VoIP industry today. The telephony market is crowded and competitive. The next few years will see the emergence of some winners and plenty of losers.
Business phone systems used to mean clunky hardware, extensive wiring and hard to understand interfaces. VoIP systems have transformed it into services that live in the cloud and are delivered on demand. Flexibility, interoperability and mobility is the name of the game now. We can look forward to many more exciting VoIP technologies in the years to come.