VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is making its mark on the telecommunications industry. Over the past few years, multiple services that were once sold separately (and usually by completely different companies) are conglomerating into package deals. For example, television, telephone, and Internet services were once three completely separate entities (with three different bills to pay), but now it is common to be able to purchase two or all three of these services from the same company for a single monthly price.
The Popularity of VoIP
The market for VoIP is expected to increase by 10% per year between now and 2021, which means it will soon be standing at more than $135 billion.
Nowhere is this more evident than in telephone and Internet services, where customers are tired of paying bloated bills for phone services plus cellular service and Internet connectivity. VoIP makes it possible to receive your telephone service over the Internet, which saves businesses in many ways. VoIP subscribers are expected to increase by 10 percent per year between 2015 and 2021, thereby doubling the market size within just over five years. At 2013, the market for VoIP stood at $70.9 billion, but that number is expected to climb to $136.76 billion by 2021. This would take the total number of VoIP subscribers to 348.5 million.
Factors Driving the Growth of VoIP
VoIP is an easy, convenient way to cut between 30% and 50% off the monthly expenses, plus the time and effort of issuing an extra payment each month.
One factor driving up the popularity of VoIP is the good deals offered by service providers. With cost savings and other offerings, VoIP vendors have been able to take a considerable chunk out of the telecommunications market. But there are other factors involved, as well.
Cost Savings - Even without a special discount, VoIP services can cut 30 to 50 percent off of a customer's monthly telecommunications bill. Businesses can really use this savings as the economy continues to teeter between growth and stagnation. Savings on communications allows businesses to continue to provide stellar customer service for far less than with landline phones. Plus, VoIP is reliable when and where landlines are often not.
Convenience of Services - How many bills does the average business accounting department pay each month? Each one tallies up labor costs, printing costs, record keeping costs, and more. The convenience of cutting two bills down to one saves the company in several ways. Additionally, VoIP gives you more bang for the buck: businesses can leverage VoIP for conference calling and other multi-user purposes that a single landline cannot provide.
Less Hardware and Equipment to Maintain - Most businesses have IT workers who are well capable of servicing network and connectivity devices, but not all businesses employ (or can afford to employ) telecommunications experts. VoIP cuts down on the amount of equipment needed because it doesn't require a system in addition to what's necessary for providing the Internet. The same IT workers that keep the Internet up and running can also take care of the VoIP. Plus, that means less space, power consumption, and other costs related to housing more equipment around the office.
The Service is Portable - With VoIP, an executive or remote worker can take their phone service wherever they travel, which is impossible to do with an ordinary landline. This gives businesses a lot of flexibility for a lot less money.
With all these advantages, it is easy to see why VoIP could eventually replace landline phones altogether.