The State of Business VoIP and Where It’s Headed in 2018

By Sasha Viasasha

Aichi8Seiran / Pixabay

Voice over IP (VoIP) is such a hot topic because it has become the new default backbone for business communications.

Three years ago, Network World predicted the rapidly approaching end of public switched telephone networks (PSTN), writing, “Replacement of the PSTN with a global VoIP-only network delivering service provider wired voice and wireless voice is not a question of if, but when.”

That was the same year that the Harvard Business Review suggested it was finally “the end of the line for the analog phone networks” as the FCC began conducting trials on converting entire communities from PSTN to VoIP as quickly as possible.

The end of plain old telephone service

Part of this large-scale digital transformation in telecom involves the abandonment of the traditional phone lines that carried the nation’s phone conversations for most of the past century. Copper land lines are now fading into history, either replaced by optical fiber as they breakdown or simply no longer serviced.

This summer, Illinois joined 19 other states that have authorized the end to copper land line servicing so that telecom companies can devote resources to developing VoIP and other future communications technology.

Meanwhile, the National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI) reported that 41 states have now either reduced or eliminated their oversight of wired telecom. VoIP converts voice, video and data into digital packets that can travel easily across fiber, cellular networks or Wi-Fi.

That future-proofing flexibility explains why VoIP is now No. 1 telephone service choice by US businesses, in a report on business VoIP usage by Software Advice. Approximately 36% of business are using VoIP today.

In second place, an estimated 24% of businesses continue to rely on PSTN, aka plain old telephone service (POTS), even though it can’t handle next-gen data and video. Primary rate interface (PRI) comes in third place, used by 11% of businesses, mostly large enterprises using a mix of PBX, ISDN circuits and T1 lines.

Virtual PBX phone systems

The fourth category of telephony technologies is the most recent. Around 8% of businesses are using cellular networks as their primary business line. That number is likely to soar in the future as the workplace transforms into a digital, mobile-first world of solopreneurs and online businesses.

This conclusion is backed up by survey responses given by business owners on why they upgraded their phone systems. The top reason for switching to VoIP for 29% of respondents was that they needed an easy way to forward calls to their mobile phones.

A close second at 25% was a flexible voicemail system that was simple to access on the road. In third place at 21% was a phone system that simplified interoperability with their existing mobile phones. The top three answers, representing a combined 75% of the survey responses, indicate that the future of business is mobile.

In the years ahead, phone service providers will invest heavily in technologies built on VoIP, including Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and HDVoice. Look for a wave of mergers and acquisitions in 2018 as the turbulent Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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