What will VoIP Look like in 2024?

Posted on: 2017-11-24 | Categories:SIP

Technological advancement is rarely predictable and quite often, what we expect to see is not what we get. That being said, market research and speculation into the future of any industry is good fodder for the media. However they not the only entities that are interested in market forecasts.

Government and regulatory bodies would like to stay ahead of developing trends. The various entities operating within the market conduct their own research into possible opportunities and obstacles. Naturally end users are also interested in what the future might bring. So let us talk about what VoIP might look like in a few years.

Fast Growth and Widespread Adoption

Fast-paced growth might seem predictable for a young industry like VoIP. However it is contingent on several factors such as access to high-speed broadband Internet. Even in developed nations like the United States, there are geographical regions where Internet access is not guaranteed. This can hinder the expansion of VoIP services in those markets. The same applies for developing nations whose Internet infrastructure might not be robust enough to support the addition of voice calls.

It is almost certain that the VoIP industry will not grow uniformly in all areas and among all segments. Countries in Asia and Africa are leapfrogging many technologies and jumping straight to the mobile revolution. It is likely that these regions will see higher growth in mobile VoIP when compared to other countries.

Regulatory and Legislative Scrutiny

VoIP technology is no longer only a tool for the technologically literate. In some areas, VoIP has replaced PSTN based landlines as the default technology for voice calls. As the industry matures, we’re likely to see increased scrutiny from lawmakers, governments and predatory bodies. Even within the United States, the regulatory status of VoIP remains unclear. Are VoIP service providers comparable to phone operators? Should we treat VoIP as an information service first and foremost?

Increased regulation has the potential to drive away customers, complicate matters and property demand. But the absence of regulation can also strip away critical consumer protections for users. In the next few years, we are going to see more governments take notice of and try to regulate the VoIP industry.

Consumer Versus Enterprise VoIP

As we have seen in markets like the United States, consumers are quicker to upgrade to VoIP than enterprises. There are multiple reasons for this difference. One is that providers find it easier to develop services for consumers than businesses. Consumers don’t require as many features and have fewer requirements than enterprises.

On the other hand, upgrading to a new technology is a more time-consuming and long-term project for organizations. It means that the decision to switch to VoIP will not be made lightly. Providers have to show that the service will be reliable enough to support enterprise communication. High quality audio is also a must-have feature for organizations whereas individual consumers will be more forgiving about its lack.

We’re likely to see the same scenario play out in different countries all over the world. The consumer driven VoIP market will grow exponentially followed by the enterprise segment.

Deeper Integration between VoIP and Other Enterprise Tools

This should come as no surprise to anyone who follows the VoIP industry. While consumers may embrace VoIP wholeheartedly, it is enterprises that will drive the demand for advancements and innovation. VoIP has evolved quite a bit from its early beginnings and it will continue to change in the future.

At first VoIP was a simple tool to reduce costs. Enterprises slowly woke up to the possibilities that this new technology afforded them. Features that were considered a luxury reserved for the largest corporations are now commonplace. Many more organizations are able to afford advanced functionality in their phone systems. Quite a few businesses have moved farther up the value chain. These organizations are now deploying unified communication systems while using their existing VoIP installation as a foundation.

In spite of how far VoIP has come, this is still only the beginning for the industry. We will see increased integration between VoIP and other enterprise systems like CRM software. VoIP along with related protocols like WebRTC will bridge the gap between organizations and their customers. It won’t be long before any Internet connected device will have the ability to make voice calls, regardless of location.

It is impossible to predict the future with any degree of accuracy, especially when it comes to technology. However we can use historical data and current observations to make some predictions. It is a foregone conclusion that VoIP will be the standard protocol for voice communication. When and how quickly it will happen is a matter for debate. If your organization has not yet upgraded to VoIP, now is the time to do it.