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VoIP: Current Trends and Future Evolution

The VoIP market grows in significance with each passing year as more and more businesses begin to appreciate the benefits of adopting an IP-based approach to telephony. In 2012, a number of trends are expected to modify the market and shape its future. Analysts have made various predictions about anticipated developments and there are also some useful statistics from the past which can be used to predict the shape of the industry over the next few months.

A report compiled by VentureBeat suggests that one of the biggest influences on the VoIP market in 2012 will be the consumerisation of IT within businesses. The proliferation of smart-phone and tablet technology means that more and more companies are having to accommodate the use of personal devices for business purposes.

Smart phones are widely available now at reasonable prices. The fact that they are owned by employees but harnessed by companies will mean that mobile VoIP services will come to the fore in 2012. Experts anticipate that various businesses will begin to train staff on the use of mobile VoIP platforms, rolling out the necessary apps and investing in the right providers to get the job done securely.

Mobile VoIP is useful because it allows callers to access the same features and functions from their portable handset as they would expect to get from their fixed-line extension in the office. It also means that it is easier to take a unified approach to communication, with mobiles integrated seamlessly into the wider VoIP service so that businesses can cut costs and increase flexibility in the workplace.

Another factor which will contribute to the growth of mobile VoIP in 2012 will be the roll-out of the first 4G LTE networking services in the UK. Everything Everywhere has confirmed that it will be one of the only providers to enable 4G coverage in Britain, which means that far faster connections will be available on typical smart phones and the quality and capability of mobile VoIP services will improve as a result.

Statistics published by TechNavio suggest that the mobile VoIP market is going to grow by around 50 per cent a year over the next two years, driven by the fact that businesses are looking to cut the costs associated with mobile communications. 2012 will just be the starting point for this particular trend, with further investment and adoption anticipated once the networking infrastructure is updated.

On a global scale, the adoption of VoIP and its significance to the business market will increase this year because it is expected that by the end of 2012 there will be a billion broadband subscribers across the world.

Figures collated by In-Stat suggest that back in December of 2009 the global total for broadband access was sitting at around 578 million people, up by over a sixth on the previous year. Almost a fifth of this figure is accounted for by mobile broadband, which leads to the growing importance of mobile VoIP services.

VoIP as a whole will have a major impact in the way that businesses actually acquire IT systems, according to Gartner. It anticipated that 20 per cent of companies will have no in-house IT assets this year, with many turning to outsourced solutions powered by cloud computing and third-party providers to avoid the costs associated with procurement and maintenance. This is where VoIP comes into its own, allowing companies to take advantage of advanced telephony services with minimal internal outlay.

With billions of potential VoIP users across the globe and a business market which is hungry to take the technology mobile, 2012 could be a stand-out year for this particular industry.

This article was written by Daisy Group plc a provider of IP telephony, Hosted VoIP and business phone systems to UK businesses.

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