Top trends that will change the future of VoIP

The VoIP market is expected to continue growing, as more and more companies are seeing the cost value and effectiveness of this voice calling system via IP. Independent of the size of the company, the advantages are too many to ignore and it is showing in the high increase of VoIP users. The growth is expected to continue even more so in the years to come, where companies are looking to alternative communication options for telecommuting employees, as well as implementing effective and time-saving internal procedures such as the organization’s selection process. VoIP as a standalone has been a great alternative for companies, but in the near future it’s becoming an even better option as it’s integrated with other technologies and apps that offer even more services to companies in all industries.

Despite its ever increasing popularity, there are different factors that could change the future of VoIP and the functions it now offers companies. One of the biggest concerns comes down to the regulations that oversee the VoIP industry. It has been difficult to recognize and categorize VoIP, since it is considered to be a combination of telecommunications and IT, which makes regulations for it non-existent. The FCC has up until now only put in place a few regulations, but it is said there are more in the works and once they are implemented, it is not certain how things may change for this growing industry. The ones that have been implemented so far include allowing their service to make an outgoing call to 911. VoIP companies are also expected to comply with Local Number Portability (LNP), as well as any accommodations that must be made for people with speech and/or hearing disabilities. Additionally, they must keep calling records of their users and offer a universal service without any consideration to the person’s income.

Furthermore, the FCC regulations seems to be interested in regulating reciprocal compensation, which would most certainly affect intercarrier compensation. This could substantially increase costs for VoIP users, but nothing is official yet so we’ll just have to wait and find out.

FCC Open Meeting_federal comunications_donald burns_VoIP
Image courtesy of Greg Elin at Flickr.com

The FCC is also analyzing the viability of peering, which is a new trend that will let companies reduce costs by eliminating one of the intermediary costs. Normally, a VoIP carrier would have to connect a call from one of their users through the Retail Service Provider (RSP), who then connects it with the wholesale carrier, and then they go through the Local Exchange Carrier (LEC). Finally, the LEC converts the call and passes it to the VoIP Service Provider and the recipient gets the call. Peering is an effort that joins forces of VoIP carriers and this way eliminates the LEC fees to place a call. This method lets companies reduce their costs, but it has still not been confirmed if it has been approved by the FCC nor the details among the RSP and VoIP Service Providers.

As for expenses, there may be more things coming along that will increase the final market face value of the VoIP service. One thing that is also still being considered by the FCC are the taxes being applied to VoIP service. The difficulty is that the transfer of data is a bit difficult to tax, unlike traditional communication which is fairly easy to quantify and tax. Currently, there is only one regulatory fee applied to the cost of VoIP services, which is a 3% tax to local services. It wouldn’t be a surprise if soon there are more taxes in place, considering the expansion of this industry.

There is a delicate issue that arises when discussing anything related to technology and internet, which is hacking. VoIP is vulnerable to hacking and the protection of its users is vital to avoid domestic fraud, ridiculously large bills invoiced for unsolicited calls, and other illegal circumstances. The easy access to VoIP domestic numbers seems to be a trigger to increasing domestic fraud. These criminals use automated dialers and make hundreds or even thousands. It is reported that 46% of illegally-made calls were done on a VoIP service. Like any other service provided over the internet nowadays, we must guard ourselves from attacks like these and be prepared.

The future is bringing with it connectivity and the Internet of Thing (IoT) could play a big role in VoIP future by integrating it along with everything else. This is not just a radical idea, since today we are beginning to see how some apps begin to slowly integrate different functions like lighting, temperature control and connecting to VoIP all from your smartphone. The future seems to focus on integration and how the different technologies merge to make our lives easier and more efficient.

One of the biggest trends that will impact VoIP services is the increase in interest to focus on the user experience. VoIP will enable your company to easily measure customer satisfaction, among other things, so companies will soon begin to choose VoIP service providers not only due to their telecommunications service.

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