The use of VoIP phones has dramatically increased during the past 5 years and it is foreseen to become even more popular over the next few years with the advent of 5G network speeds coming very soon. Let us look at the changes that VoIP phones have undergone since it was introduced to the Australian market.
VoIP Phones Then
It was late in 2007 when Naked DSL plans were introduced to consumers who would like to keep their broadband internet connection but do away with paying for landline services, which in turn led astute customers to recognize the potential savings of integrating their broadband service with internet-based VoIP connections for free phone connectivity. The rapid rise in user recognition if the efficiency of VoIP phones and naked DSL connection led to more cost friendly VoIP phones bundled product offerings ranging from inclusive monthly fees to pay as you go payment plans for local and national calls.
Many households started using VoIP telephony because of its many added and mostly free features like instant messaging, call forwarding, call blocking, calling number display, multi-party conference calling, and being able to send video or audio files during a call. By 2011, the Bureau of Statistics reported that around 26% of personal users were using VoIP phones which increased considerably from 10% in 2008. By 2009, Sensis reported that 20% of SMEs in Australia have adapted to using VoIP phones in their business communications.
This number rose steadily as internet capability grew nationwide and more advanced mobile units became readily available. The benefit of lower call costs and lower VoIP telephony maintenance costs resulted to a significant decrease in company overhead costs making VoIP phones an even more popular communications strategy.
VoIP Phones Today
Nowadays, most SMEs and start up businesses opt for VoIP phones instead of landline phones, not only because it is the cheaper option, but also because of the many features that landlines are not capable of. VoIP phones are very effective means of communication on different platforms. Calls can be made from computer to computer, computer to phones, phone to phone, IP phone to phone, and IP phone to IP phone.
There are numerous VoIP phones and hosted PBX solution companies and bundled services to choose from nowadays that it would take you at least a week to go through the first 30 choices. You would be able to narrow down the choices based on monthly cost, reliability, and other free features that each provider offers but keep in mind that the speed of your broadband connection will ultimately affect the quality of your communications done through the VoIP phones.
VoIP phones today have better features than when it was first introduced to the Australian market. Most providers have auto answer, called ID for incoming and outgoing calls, call waiting, call transfer, call forwarding, call re-direct, voicemail and email. Features like international calling and mobile phone calling are usually on a per minute call rate. Added VoIP phone features like having additional phone numbers and linking multiple telephone calls from multiple locations require additional fees.
Many small businesses are currently complaining with the current broadband speeds available in Australia because it affects the quality of their VoIP phones. Data packet delays, high latency, and packet loss are just some of the negative effects of low connection speeds.
VoIP Phones Tomorrow
By the end of the decade, Australia will be getting access to 5G network connection, which is 10-100 times quicker than current connection speeds. How will this alter our data plans and how will this influence business telephony, specifically VoIP phones? The result of this technology that will greatly affect the quality of VoIP phones is having very low latency connections making it very easy for businesses to converge and collaborate anytime and anywhere. The predicted speed will be as high as 10 gigabits for every second, which is 100 better than our current 4G connection.
Results from 451 research studies say that businesses that use VoIP phones, cloud services, automation, and other consumer electronics impacts. IT companies should already be getting ready for this advancement in terms of data centre design, VoIP phones and other telephony options, real-time analytics, and digital currencies to name a few areas that need to be addressed. The study predicts that the 5G upgrade will need new applications and definitely more computing power so there may be potential negative effects as well.