Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has come a long way since its initial development in 1995. As a method for transmitting vocal signals as data over the Internet, VoIP has moved past Internet voicemail and Internet-based telephone to videochat, video conferencing and much more. What will the future of VoIP look like, and, more importantly, what ramifications could new developments have for your business? Let’s explore some possibilities.
The End of the Wired Telephone?
For several years now, experts have been predicting that VoIP would eventually completely replace conventional wired telephone service (i.e., public switched telephone networks, or PSTNs).
“Replacement of the PSTN with a global VoIP-only network delivering service provider wired voice and wireless voice is not a question of if, but when,” writes Larry Hettick of Network World. “The PSTN to VoIP transition was always on the map, but now we are beginning the routes to get there.”
Hettick goes on to mention that AT&T had already put a timeline in place to go completely toward VoIP by 2020. In the meantime, many businesses have dispensed with traditional land lines, choosing instead to communicate exclusively through Internet phones, video conferencing and other VoIP applications. Soon, Internet-based communication may be the only viable option.
The Emergence of 5G
One of the biggest criticisms of VoIP protocols is its inconsistent quality. VoIP is dependent on Internet speed and stability, and people who have slow connections, or drive through mobile “dead zones,” often deal with glitchy video, garbled voices and dropped calls. The next generation of mobile broadband, 5G, will likely make those complaints obsolete. 5G is already starting to appear in certain areas, and soon it will become the new standard for mobile connectivity. As explained in ToolBox Tech,
Once it’s released, 5G is expected to be about 10 times faster than the current 4G. An increase of this magnitude could have a significant impact on the productivity of any business that uses the Internet…. Video and web conferencing will also experience a significant leap in quality, with 4K and even 8K video becoming commonplace.
A Possible Competitor to VoIP?
Even before VoIP applications become so prevalent, developers have already been coming up with ways to exploit and even surpass it.
In 2011, Google transformed the industry again with Web Realtime Communications (WebRTC), a protocol that allows computer users to call, chat and share files peer-to-peer using only a web browser with no plugins. According to VoIPStudio, “Many people are still not sure if WebRTC will emerge as a competitor to VoIP or as a partner. Most likely, WebRTC will allow enterprises to extend voice calling into areas where VoIP has traditionally struggled.”
If you own or run a business and do not yet implement VoIP communications, you owe it to yourself to learn what this technology can do for you. To learn more, call us at 1-877-NetServ.