VoIP has become one of the most talked-about communications technologies of recent years. As more and more people switch to using VoIP, they can take advantage of the many benefits that this technology brings.

While already far more technically advanced than traditional communications services, VoIP still continues to evolve. Here’s what you can expect from VoIP services for 2019.

The arrival of 5G

There’s no doubt that internet speeds have been getting faster as technology has advanced, with call quality improving all the time. The arrival of 5G will further enhance speed and quality this year, as more tech companies invest in the latest wireless network technology.

Whether you’re a firm interested in wholesale DID origination from a specialist such as IDT, or you’re a reseller, it’s inevitable that consumers now expect reliable call services and faster connection times. With 5G, this will greatly improve consumer interactions and experiences. While you may not notice a dramatic difference this year as 5G continues to get off the ground, it will eventually translate to huge improvements in the way we communicate.

While many people might initially have been put off adopting the fifth generation of mobile communications, deeming it too expensive, as time goes on, you can expect to see this technology become cheaper, ensuring 5G is accessible for all.

Continued attrition in traditional communications systems

Traditional landline phone systems were once the norm, and it is hard to believe that just 15 years ago over 90% of households in the USA alone used this system. Today, the situation is somewhat different, with over 75% of adults now living in a household that uses wireless communication systems.

The decline of traditional communication systems is set to continue further this year, as VoIP systems enjoy increased popularity. This is a trend that applies to both domestic and commercial users, with VoIP subscriptions predicted to soar to $204 billion in the next year or so.

As more businesses recognise the many benefits that VoIP technology brings, increasingly, it will be a case of needing to switch to more efficient systems in order to stay competitive, rather than merely being an option.

Security will take centre stage

While voice technology is revolutionising the communications industry, the blurring of network boundaries and the use of voice as a data application can leave this technology open to abuse and exploitation. Anyone wanting to invest in VoIP this year and beyond will need to feel confident that their data and communications are as safe and secure as possible, particularly with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) having come into force last year.

With this in mind, security with regards to VoIP is likely to be in the limelight this year, where there will be a rise in the development of applications and encryption services that tackle issues such as fraud and eavesdropping.

The rise of number portability and blockchain

Blockchain technology may not be a new thing, but it is set to enjoy growing use within VoIP circles this coming year. It is already making a name for itself in ensuring the authenticity of data and for securing CDRs and billing data, but blockchain solutions will be exploited for even greater benefit during 2019. In particular, it will be used for streamlining complex processes involving several parties, including Mobile Number Portability (MNP) and Do Not Call (DNC) registries.

Blockchain will help to simplify the migration of users’ mobile numbers to other service providers, enabling easier number migration, user safety and safeguarding transparency features. Phone numbers will likely be managed via one decentralised location, offering standardised access for global users.

Further development of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Expect to see cloud-based AI technology step up a gear or two this year, helping to improve the quality and consistency of VoIP systems. As AI advances, it will be able to sniff out any calls of inferior quality and rectify them. It will also be able to find faults and fix them in real time, thus bolstering call quality on the go, without any delays or the need for human intervention.

As AI technology improves, particularly with the use of Chat Bots, businesses will be able to gain increased insights into consumer behaviour, while enabling them to better respond to individual needs. This not only speeds up communications and interaction processes, but it can make businesses more efficient.

What’s more, the integration of improved AI with better quality voice assistant applications will enable automation of call answering. This can help to save time and ensure that routine, repetitive or monotonous tasks can be processed automatically, allowing staff to focus upon more complex communications issues.

Further enhancements in AI are likely to be in the pipeline with the development of analytics, web robots and machine learning, all of which will help to streamline interactions.