Despite its meteoric growth in popularity over the past few years, VoIP has actually been around for quite a while. Indeed, it is arguably the 20th anniversary of VoIP technologies going mainstream. VoIP continues to grow in popularity, as traditional telephony systems are discontinued or no longer supported by the major telecom companies. As the quality issues that were initially associated with VoIP are tackled and overcome, there is every reason to think it will entirely replace fixed-line voice connections over the next decade.
According to research, the value of the VoIP market is forecast to exceed £200 billion by 2020, with the number of VoIP subscribers expected to pass 350 million.
What are the key challenges and trends?
Security remains a major ongoing issue for VoIP and, indeed, all internet-based technologies. The fact that VoIP ‘packets’ are essentially data means that there are all the same associated risks as with, for example, internet banking, albeit the data is less important and is less likely to be used fraudulently. With a number of VoIP providers offering apps to allow the system to be accessed from mobiles/laptops/tablets, it is even more important to find ways of ensuring company telephony systems and networks are protected.
Other security concerns include Spam over Internet Technology (SPIT) which just like spam emails is made up of unsolicited, often auto-generated messages. Some SPIT calls will attempt to get you to divulge personal or financial information and because there is no ‘subject’ line as with emails, you don’t know the call is SPIT until you actually answer it. This makes it harder to block/prevent. Some VoIP providers offer blocking features where they filter the call as it arrives before allowing it through if it is regarded as genuine.
Because VoIP systems are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection and from multiple devices, this makes them vulnerable to hackers, who have numerous ways of trying to attack you. To protect against hackers you should ensure that all passwords and PINs are changed so they are not set at their defaults, protect your network with a WPA protocol, keep all software up-to-date, scan regularly for viruses and be very careful when downloading anything.
Simplification of features
Feature management will continue to adapt to the changing behaviour of users. Complexity will be reduced because the unified communication tools will be embedded in applications to further enhance the user experience. Real-time UC tools will start to become an intrinsic part of workflows. These simpler features will also be rolled out across multiple devices.
The cloud is the future and the use of the cloud to host telecommunication systems is expected to continue to rise significantly over the next few years. Network infrastructure improvements will mean that the cost and practical benefits of opting for hosted PBX systems will increase even more and premise-based voice systems will become a thing of the past (together with POTS and ISDN).
The continued integration of voice technology into new and existing business applications and software will improve collaboration between employees (especially those working in different locations) and will also make it simpler for customers to engage with businesses and other organisations via mobile apps and web-based communication/messaging channels such as webchat.
Contact centre transformation
Contact centres will continue to be transformed as they adopt cloud-based solutions that enable them to offer more reliable and resilient service. Equipment will be kept to a minimum and staff will be able to simply plug in to their system wherever they are based. By entrusting the main hardware and servers to the provider, organisations can either use their office space to employ extra agents or they can use remote/home-based agents and reduce the size of their physical offices. Cloud-based telephony solutions are also far more scalable and easier to manage than they have been in the past.
Communications Platform as a Service
CPaaS is likely to grow significantly over the next few years, as more developers begin to work on ways of integrating real-time communications into workflows and embedding voice services into web and mobile apps. Creative application development is increasingly front-loaded.
Choosing an international wholesale VoIP provider
There are plenty of things to consider when deciding on which provider to select for your VoIP needs. The main things to consider are cost/value, level of service, reliability, and customer support. When it comes to deciding on which provider to go with for your VoIP wholesale needs, look no further than IDT express. We are highly respected experts in the telecoms field and have decades of experience. As a leading VoIP wholesale provider, we carry in excess of 28 billion minutes annually. Our wholesale service offers great quality together with an array of advanced features and easy to use customisable solutions.