For the past 20 years, VoIP has become an integral part of the lives of millions of people around the world, offering a plethora of innovation and options, as well as simplifying many communication processes while improving consumer interaction.
The usage of VoIP as a service has snowballed – between 1998 and 2002, VoIP carried only 1-3% of all voice calls worldwide, but in 2005, VoIP was responsible for more than 200 billion call minutes. The technology remains one of the fastest growing innovation of the late 20th century and has since grown steadily.
As 2019 is said to be a year of more innovation, what could the future of VoIP look like? Let’s take a peek in what the technology has to offer businesses in the coming years and see how other innovative technologies can potentially impact the VoIP industry.
Traditional landline and phone systems are in steady decline.
Various telecommunication experts have predicted the eventual death of the traditional landline phone system. In the US alone, more than 90 percent of households had operational landline phones in 2004, and today that number has decreased to less than half the amount. Furthermore, studies have shown that three out of four adults were living in a wireless-only household in 2018.
For businesses, companies that use traditional fix-line voice systems are only a minority when compared to those who have already adopted IP-based voice systems. Enterprise-level features offered by VoIP systems will satisfy business requirements with innovative and cost-efficient options, as well as, any necessary hardware and software support, coupled with prompt updates.
Here comes 5G network
As VoIP technology is heavily dependent on internet quality, its services are expected to improve with the development of fifth-generation (5G) exponentially wide-area wireless networks, allowing faster communication speeds and response rate. The new system can potentially eliminate problems such as call jitter and packet loss.
Experts predict that the 5G network will arrive in scale, opening up to new revenue opportunities for telecommunication companies who can offer better quality connections to businesses and consumers. Wireless operators are currently investing heavily in 5G network development. According to the statistics, 72 operators were testing the network in 2018, and by the end of 2019, 25 operators are expected to have their 5G service launched, a figure likely to double by 2020.
Kevin Westcott, Vice-chairman at Deloitte, said, “It won’t happen overnight, but 5G will profoundly change our interactions and experiences, which is good news for consumers as they demand better performance and more access to content. Higher speeds and lower latency will enable new and innovative consumer experiences in areas from augmented reality to entertainment to medicine and smart cities.”
Blockchain and number portability
Blockchain technology is not new to the telecommunication industry. In 2019, it is expected that new initiatives will be rolled out offering blockchain solutions for streamlining complex multi-party processes such as Mobile Number Portability (MNP) and Do Not Call (DNC) registries.
MNP feature allows the migration of users’ mobile number to a different service provider and the advent of Blockchain can simplify this process. Blockchain can automate number migration while it ensures full transparency and safety for all parties involved.
Edwin Terek, the founder of DIDWW, said, “We see the future where there is no longer a need for number portability. Instead, all the phone numbers will be managed in one decentralized ledger, which will provide standardized access and routing lookup for all operators on a global basis.”
Further AI integration and advanced automation
As the tech world becomes obsessed with cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI), the VoIP systems become one of the biggest beneficiaries. AI is currently explored to detect poor quality calls and is being designed to be a self-healing network.
“AI will offer real-time problem solving for low bandwidth, high latency and faulty network configuration with minimal or even no human interaction. This cutting-edge technology will empower communication programs to analyze written and conversations in considerable detail, and produce useful insights into customer behavior, ” an expert said.
Chatbots and other AI-oriented platforms are expected to become more intelligent, opening more opportunities for inter-computer communication. The ability to compile substantive amounts of consumer data will enable an improved service experience and make interactions more efficient.
Furthermore, with the recent upgrades in artificial intelligence, AI can also be used not only to provide consumer insights but can also answer calls. This will give positive results via enhanced interpretation of basic, simple commands, and improved customer interaction.
“Repetitive and monotonous routine tasks will be processed automatically and efficiently, thus increasing the opportunity for employees to acquire well-defined consequential data and successfully solve complex issues,” another expert noted.
With the growth of the industry and the continuous expansion of technological advancements, VoIP, among other technologies, are expected to become better in the years to come. Who knows, there might be someone who can invent the phone that will not only answer phone calls by itself but can also make decisions to help your consumers further.