Our Guest Post today comes from John Terra who has been a freelance writer since 1985. He writes about everything from running 5K's to business accounting software.
Much in the same way that smart phones and tablets have undermined the dominance of traditional desktop and laptop computers, VoIP is kicking out the legs from under traditional communications. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and is telephone communications that is delivered over the Internet. It's also called broadband phone service, IP telephony, or voice over broadband. When businesses want a unified communication deal, they turn to VoIP, which bundles phone calls, faxes, e-mail, voice mail, and Web and video conferences. Thanks to VoIP, expensive long-distance charges are a thing of the past, which is good news for any business seeking to keep expenses under control.
It's All About Togetherness
The key to VoIP's success is in how it brings matters together on several levels. For instance, it's already been mentioned that VoIP bundles together voice, data and video into one package, but there's more to the story. VoIP also brings together a business' multiple locations by uniting all of the offices under one hosted phone system. If a company's offices are scattered all over a region or even across the nation, a VoIP system facilitates communication and connectivity.
VoIP's convenience, coupled with its cost-effectiveness over traditional communications, is drawing increased attention, as is evidenced by its dramatic growth. At first the darling of the government and education sectors, more businesses and private residences are jumping on the bandwagon. It is estimated that 49% of American businesses are using VoIP, and that number is expected to increase to 80% by the end of 2013.
Growth in the hosted VoIP market has rebounded from a 2012 drop-off in seats, adding over 90,000 seats since between December 2012 and July 2013(a growth of 8.55%), as opposed to the over 66,000 seats added in the last half of 2012.
A seat is defined as how many phones are connected to a VoIP system, not the number of phone lines. According to Infonetics Research, the number of seats will double between 2012 and 2016, taking into account not only new customers, but current customers' increased satisfaction and confidence in VoIP systems and consequently turning over more of their communications' needs to it.
In addition, SOHOs (Small Office/Home Office) and private residential subscribers have reached a worldwide total of 178 million, reflecting a growth of 14% as of 2011, and the upward trending shows no sign of abating.
Infonetics also points out that total VoIP services, as in business and residential combined, will continue growing, its worth increasing to over 74 billion in 2015.
Mobile VoIP is split into short-range PCS and longer range 3G/4G, and is just what it sounds like: using voice over Internet communications with mobile devices. As mobile phones become the default go-to way that people make phone calls, mobile VoIP is on the upswing. One marketing report by InStat estimates there will be 288 million users of VoIP worldwide, while Juniper Research is forecasting a staggering 1 billion users within the next five years.
The VoIP industry adds a lot to the economy thanks to its robust growth, especially when the relatively new area of mobile VoIP is taken into consideration. As VoIP's popularity increases and more businesses turn to it for their communications needs, more jobs will be created. VoIP's industry value is predicted to rise at a rate of 15.3% annualized, up until 2017. The companies that provide VoIP will increase in value not only because of rising profits, but from the increasingly important role they'll play in the future.
What we are witnessing here is the dominance of the VoIP industry and the twilight of the conventional communications systems. The future looks rosy for VoIP, which is good news to anyone who appreciates value and convenience.