What are the Big Things that Will Push VoIP in the Future?Posted on: 2018-01-23 | Categories: VoIP Services
Every successful innovation goes through various stages before it is supplanted by something new. In the beginning, the only people using it are innovators who tinker with new things. Later the early adopters implement the technology but it’s still largely obscure. In the third stage, many people have heard of the technology and it is widely adopted. After that, it almost completely replaces the older technology. And finally, we have the laggards who join the party when something newer is just around the corner.
The Growth Curve of VoIP
We saw this happen with VoIP as well. When it first arrived on the scene decades ago, individuals were the only ones using it. Businesses were unsure about trusting their communication to a new technology. VoIP promised to reduce the price of long distance calls and make local calls free. It sounded too good to be true and in the early stages, it was. Bandwidth was limited and quality varied widely between fairly good or extremely bad. The concept of QoS was nonexistent.
As improvements were made, enterprises adopted VoIP technology as well. It helped that VoIP finally delivered on the promises of inexpensive yet high quality voice calling. Over the years, service providers improved reliability to the point where companies could trust the service for daily use. The growth numbers for the industry suggest that VoIP is all set to move to the fourth stage.
VoIP is all around us now. There’s hardly a business that has not already switched from the PSTN and the remaining will soon move over. Experts differ only on the date when VoIP will replace the PSTN backbone completely. But what will push VoIP in 2018 and beyond? What will drive innovation in a sector that has evolved so much in such a short span of time?
The Smart and Mobile Workforce
No other technology has spread as quickly as smartphones. Billions of people around the world have access to a cell phone with apps and Internet connectivity. That is nothing short of amazing. But as the saying goes, we haven’t seen anything yet. By 2020, the workforce will have a good proportion of individuals who have grown up with VoIP and have never used a landline. To them, VoIP is not a cool new toy. It’s what they’re familiar with.
Employees expect to work wherever and whenever they need to. No longer will most of us be tethered to an office desk. Many people think that traditional offices will cease to exist one day! Organizations have to be agile and the trend towards mobility will push VoIP forward. High quality voice calls, conference calling and group video chats from smartphones will be a necessity for the workforce. They won’t be perks or luxuries anymore.
You may think you’ve heard everything there is to hear about BYOD. But most companies still don’t have an official policy on the use of personal devices for work. Just because they don’t have a policy doesn’t mean their staff doesn’t use it however. Right now only some companies are worried about the security risks. Almost everyone else is looking at how BYOD can boost productivity, collaboration and innovation in the workplace.
People don’t want to jump through hoops to access work emails from home or their personal phone. Neither do they want to carry around 2 devices when a single one can do the job. BYOD is here to stay and together with mobility will go a long way to further VoIP usage and adoption. VoIP based application, services and related technology will become as essential to a business as having computers or data connectivity.
5G Is Coming but 4G isn’t Going Anywhere Either
VoIP offers the best value when you can make phone calls from remote or out of way locations. These might be places where it is expensive to lay cable or have inclement weather conditions. However VoIP use in those areas is still constricted by bandwidth limitations, lack of access to data networks or slow Internet speeds.
5G networks which are expected to roll out over the next few years will change all that. 5G can help network traffic congestion in densely populated urban areas and places where you might not have coverage like tunnels or elevators. They have the potential to improve speeds to the point where you can stream video during a conference call or send files even as you present your work to an audience of 10 people over your smartphone.
The 5G rollout will have other consequences as well. 3G and 4G networks will expand to more rural regions, improving voice quality and providing better access. No more dead zones or carrying around a personal hotspot to make VoIP calls. Businesses need agile communication infrastructure that can follow users anywhere. Users demand connectivity wherever they go. And VoIP will be there to answer the call!