VoIP Trends in 2017Posted on: 2017-08-01 | Categories: VoIP Services
VoIP adoption has skyrocketed and the growth in various segments of the industry shows no signs of slowing down. Individuals, households and businesses continue to drop PSTN lines in favor of VoIP. In fact, VoIP has already overtaken the fixed line network in many countries across the world. It won’t be long before VoIP becomes the default standard for voice communication instead of the good old landline.
VoIP is a young industry by most standards and as such, it is in a constant state of flux. New providers enter the market almost on a daily basis. Still the market is not saturated and there is room for competition and growth. Nothing remains the same from one year to the next and few can predict what 2018 will bring. So what has been happening in 2017 for VoIP?
Tremendous Growth in VoIP Numbers
There is no segment or market in which VoIP growth has stagnated. In fact providers are rapidly expanding their infrastructure to satisfy demand from customers. Very few technologies have become so dominant in such a short period of time like VoIP. Experts predict that 1 billion people may be using VoIP by 2018, if not earlier. Considering that there are little more than 7 billion people on this planet, it is a stupendous achievement for technology that was unheard of until recently.
The growth in VoIP has accelerated due to many factors. Some carriers have announced a part of date for the PSTN which means businesses now have to look elsewhere for their communication needs. In some industries, VoIP can be the crucial difference between a nimble company that survives vs a failed business. VoIP is quickly becoming an important differentiator and a necessity for organizations competing in a global marketplace.
Organizations Consolidate Multiple Communication Channels
VoIP often serves as a foundation for organizations looking to implement unified communication suites. Gone are the days when companies are satisfied with maintaining multiple networks – each serving a single purpose. Now clients want a single infrastructure that they can use for voice, video, data etc. Users expect a single and unified experience regardless of which channel or application they are using to communicate.
So most organizations are simplifying and consolidating their communication systems. Employees no longer have different workflows for voice calling, conference calling or instant messaging. Users can make a call, join a group video chat or start a conversation from any device that happens to be nearby.
Organizations See More Savings Than Ever before
It is no secret that VoIP calls are much cheaper than the PSTN counterparts. Prices have been steadily falling for a while thanks to increased competition and reduced interconnection charges between backhaul providers. In 2017, prices stabilized somewhat but the savings continue to improve. This is largely due to the launch of new features and streamlined billing plans from vendors. Businesses continue to reap the benefits of free internal calling between employees, regardless of location. The average organization can see their phone bills cut by half when they switch to VoIP. It is a massive incentive for anyone still on the fence about moving away from the PSTN.
Improvements in Voice Quality
The voice quality of VoIP calls matched that of the PSTN quite a while ago. Now providers are in a race to improve it even more. Businesses rely on real-time voice communication much more than households or individuals. Voice quality essential component of both internal and external calls. Rapid advances in technology mean that vendors are improving voice quality on a daily basis.
Part of this improvement also comes from the proliferation of high-speed data networks. Some countries have been slow to see improvements in Internet speeds but are now catching up with the rest. Speed and bandwidth improvements are happening in both the fixed line and mobile networks. Some carriers are already testing the next advancement to LTE technology in some areas. This can only mean further improvements in voice quality for customers going forward.
No Reasons for Businesses to Stay with PSTN
Even a few years ago, VoIP was handicapped by the lack of crucial features like emergency calling or the need for having power backup. Today most VoIP operators offer E911 or its equivalent in many parts of the world. In many cases they are required to do so by law. Data networks have become just as crucial – if not more so – than voice calling for enterprises, power backup requirements no longer deter companies from using VoIP. With high costs and fewer reasons to stick with PSTN, it’s no wonder that everyone wants to move to VoIP instead.
All the signs point towards 2018 being another milestone for the VoIP industry. Many customers already use VoIP networks for voice calling even if they don’t realize it. That number is only going to increase over the coming years.