For many consumers, Skype was their introduction to VoIP and its advent had a signification impact on the communications industry. Skype and other VoIP market providers also had the effect of driving down the price of telecommunications, as these VoIP services forced providers to offer more competitive rates.

Evolution of technology

MSN and Google Talk also attempted to enter the consumer VoIP marketplace, but Skype continued to dominate as the consumer market leader. Not to be deterred, Microsoft decided that it would buy Skype instead in 2011 for more than $8 billion. However in 2011 Skype’s revenue was a fraction of the sum Microsoft paid to buy it. That said, Skype did have an enormous customer base of more than 650 million users, of which around 20 per cent – or more than 120 million – were regular users of the service. It appears that Microsoft was buying the potential of Skype to be a communications service that hundreds of millions of people around the world would use.

Facebook now has billions of users around the world and it is a popular communications platform for many of them. As a platform for offering VoIP services, Facebook is uniquely positioned to take a dominant position in the market and turn this into a revenue generating opportunity with vast profits. Facebook could even overtake Skype as the dominant consumer VoIP platform.

How voice termination packages can help your bottom line

VoIP represents an opportunity for businesses to streamline costs and invest in a communications platform that is tailored to their needs in a way that the old analogue systems could never be.

With VoIP there is enormous flexibility and very little infrastructure is required for a VoIP service, reducing the need for expensive hardware, installations and engineer visits to expand services or rectify problems. In many cases, the only equipment needed is the handsets themselves as VoIP can be cloud hosted and managed from a website. With custom security solutions, and access independent of geography, VoIP is perfect for staff that travel, and businesses that want to offer remote working to employees. For an employee to use their business VoIP system when abroad, all they need is their log in details and an internet connection. VoIP also offers the latest developments in technology and seamless scaling to match a business’ requirements.

In addition, VoIP significantly reduces the costs of international calls. As calls may terminate at numbers that are not part of a VoIP system, costs may be involved, particularly for mobiles in developing countries. However, an established business VoIP provider such as IDT can offer packages that take advantage of an international network of providers that deliver excellent rates for clients.

As analogue services are phased out, VoIP will not be a choice but the norm. However, there is no need to wait to take advantage of VoIP’s flexibility and value. Any business that wants a better communications platform can investigate the advantages of VoIP today.