There’s no question about it: since the turn of the millennium, VoIP has been making waves in the telecommunications industry.
Telecom looks very different today than it did before VoIP was introduced. And the industry continues to change every year as VoIP evolves and plain old telephone services (POTS) becomes less and less popular.
But what do these changes mean for business? That’s the question I’m going to try to answer in this article.
And the answer begins with the death of the old telecom monopoly.
Is VoIP Killing Telecom Monopolies?
The big telcos ruled the industry for about a century. But the low-cost structure of VoIP (not to mention all the new features that come along with it) is shaking up the power dynamics in the customer’s favor.
To understand why this is happening, we have to understand how VoIP works – and how it differs from POTS – as well as the many benefits of using VoIP for business calling.
Traditional phone lines work by translating voice signals into electrical signals and transmitting them over phone lines. VoIP works by translating voice signals into internet protocol (IP) data packets, which are then exchanged between callers via the internet. This means VoIP phone calls can be made from internet-connected devices like computers and mobile phones.
This presents several benefits:
- Compared to landline calls, VoIP calls are very low-cost, especially over long distances. Businesses that make a lot of long-distance calls can save a ton by switching to VoIP.
- Maintenance and capital costs are virtually zero, because there’s no need to install expensive equipment to use VoIP: it’s plug and play.
- With VoIP, voice calling is just the beginning: many VoIP systems come with additional features like instant messaging, video calling, conference calling, file sharing, and integrations with third-party programs (like a CRM, for example).
- You can make calls from the same business number from multiple locations – even when you’re travelling. VoIP, like the internet, is borderless.
- Since VoIP calls can be made from your computer, it’s easy to multitask while on a call. For example, you could bring up information about the customer on the line with a single click.
- Flexible subscription plans ensure you only pay for the VoIP services you actually need (prices are usually based on the number of users). And it’s super easy to add users to your plan – no new hardware installation required.
- Advanced call routing lets you redirect missed calls to a second business line, a mobile phone number, your voicemail, your email, or a combination of these. It’s totally up to you.
And that’s just scratching the surface. The list of VoIP benefits and features continues to grow as the industry advances.
VoIP Will Continue to Change the Telecommunications Industry
The numerous advanced features, the possibility to integrate voice calling with other business services, and the scalability of VoIP subscriptions make it all but certain that the legacy telecom system will eventually come to an end.
This isn’t speculation: according to research from Ovum, the telecommunications industry will have lost $386 billion between 2012 and 2018 from users switching to VoIP applications. Most of this lost revenue will come from lost fees for international calls and roaming, which are a lot cheaper with VoIP.
Remember, VoIP providers don’t use existing telecom infrastructure. Nor do they have to comply with dated industry regulations. Instead, VoIP relies on flexible internet infrastructure. That means they can offer their services at greatly reduced rates.
Gone are the days of paying absurd fees for calls made outside your local area. Businesses with wide geographical reaches can now become more integrated, making it possible for teams to form across offices and break free from the practice of working in silos.
Most companies are realizing (or at least starting to realize) the benefits of VoIP. The global VoIP services market is forecast to grow from $83B in 2015 to $140B by 2021. That’s a compound annual growth rate of 9.1%.
The biggest drivers of this growth will be the continual improvement of networking infrastructure, especially for mobile applications. Many companies are connecting their mobile devices to their office network to conduct VoIP calls on-the-go. The result is a seamless telephony experience that lets users access a single business phone system from almost any device.
Are you part of this booming industry?
If not, it might be time to get involved.
Our existing customers have saved up to 80% on their phone bills by consolidating multiple landlines into a single VoIP plan.
If you’re worried about the migration process, read about our risk-free roadmap to VoIP. You’ll learn how VoIP can be adopted in phases while you continue to use your traditional phone lines.