U.S. Phone Customers are Moving over to VoIP at a Rapid Pace

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U.S. Phone Customers are Moving over to VoIP at a Rapid Pace U.S. Phone Customers are Moving over to VoIP at a Rapid PaceU.S. Phone Customers are Moving over to VoIP at a Rapid Pace

 

7 August 2014

VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, is also called IP Telephony. It’s simply a different method of placing phone calls, except it’s cheaper or even free. It no longer necessarily uses a telephone either, since it’s possible to communicate without one.

The Advantages of IP Telephony

One of the largest benefits of an IP Telephony system is the lower cost in comparison with a traditional phone system. All it requires is a computer that’s equipped with both a microphone and speakers. With sufficient Internet access, VoIP can be used at absolutely no cost. It may even be free with home or cell phones. Another advantage is the versatility of VoIP. It can be used at home, on the job, with your business network, when traveling and even at remote locations.

Other benefits of these services include direct dial, voicemail, inbound fax-to-email, notification of voicemail, IT support and lots of other services that older phone technology was incapable of supporting. There is also customization available. Simply put, customization allows select services to be purchased according to the needs of an individual business. There are also flat-rate services with unlimited calls to any area, as well as sliding rates that are calculated by the number of users on the VoIP system. Administration can also be part of the monthly VoIP fee if chosen.

Current Statistics

A new government study shows that almost half of residents who are users of the American wire line voice service are currently utilizing VoIP. The numbers are just a little lower than 50 percent. Almost 40 percent of those customers do not purchase their VoIP from traditional carriers such as Verizon.

The New Trend

A new FCC (Federal Communications Commission) report about local phone competition uses information from mid-2013 and previous. It shows that VoIP use is a dominant trend that is currently underway. The report explores a three-year time frame that began in June of 2003 and continued until June of 2013. It shows that those who are subscribed to VoIP that allows subscribers to place and receive incoming calls from a particular telephone number rose around 16 percent in the United States. The rate for cell phone subscribers rose three percent each year. Finally the rate of switched access lines dove 10 percent annually during the same time frame.

Residential Usage

The FCC report also shows that in comparison with the business world, residents are subscribing at a rate that is three times higher. There could be a number of different reasons for this difference in subscription. One possibility is that it is generally easier for a homeowner to sign up for new services with their current phone service, making it user-friendly. In contrast, for a corporate changeover, intricate VoIP systems may need to be purchased and put into use, which is less cost-effective and more time-consuming.

Business Usage

Less than 20 percent of businesses are using VoIP technology, as stated in the report from the FCC. However, this number is predicted to increase significantly over time, which means there may very well be occasion for service companies and hosts to find their spot. It takes time and a cost to switch traditional phone systems over to a VoIP service system, but many businesses are beginning to take the necessary steps to get on board.

Facing the Competition

Traditional phone service providers are dealing with the uncertainties that accompany the loss of customers to service providers that are competing for the business. The number of customers who are making the switch continues to grow at a steady rate. The downside is that Internet services like Microsoft’s Skype accounted for over two-thirds of all call times placed internationally in 2012. This is a problem for VoIP service providers who are trying to get in on a corner of the market. VoIP service providers are finding it tough to beat the competition and are closing their doors.

Will It Stick Around?

In this era of advanced technology that is constantly changing and redefining how people communicate, there are concerns that the telecom system won’t last very long. The projection is that a new and more advanced system will arise, but will also have limited competitors. These concerns have driven provider companies to get in the battle and try to claim a foothold. VoIP leader Vonage picked up Vocalocity for over $100 million and plans to utilize it to render VoIP services to businesses that are smaller or mid-sized.

Top Business Trends

Some of the top trends in Internet telephony technology include the following:

• Bring Your Own Device: Companies are enjoying this trend because it saves on costs and promotes productivity among employees. The number of mobile devices used with Internet Telephony is rapidly increasing.
• Larger businesses are getting on board: Thanks to increasing bandwidth and dependability, bigger companies are beginning to take advantage of Internet Telephony.
• Integration: Software that works with Voice over Internet Protocol systems have already become a hit with texting, but more integration is becoming available, making it an even bigger asset to businesses.
• Mobility: The number of cell users of Voice over Internet Protocol is expected to more than a billion by 2017. This includes things like apps that work for Skype. It’s still in the beginning phases but is on the verge of a major jump.

VoIP services provide excellent quality, customizable services and flexibility that work well for just about any individual, family or business. As technology continues to change and improve, it’s likely that VoIP phone technology will continue to increase and become the major phone system in use.

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