The march of progress is inevitable, but the evolution of technology brings improved ways of doing things and new opportunities for businesses.
Watch these wholesale voice trends for 2018
Telecommunication technology moves especially quickly, and VoIP is a relatively recent service which has quickly proved to be a game changer for many organisations. New advances are further improving its reliability, functionality and cost-effectiveness, and there is much more progress in store for 2018. Resellers should keep their eyes open and pursue the new opportunities that will arise from wholesale voice solutions.
VoIP and the IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to expand with the growing number of smart devices in homes and offices – and this trend is only likely to grow. The result is unprecedented flexibility for businesses in terms of remote working and keeping teams connected in the most dynamic working environments. VoIP phones are expected to become key components of the smart office – they offer mobility, full integration and synchronisation with an ecosystem of networked devices. VoIP is already growing in popularity for home use, a trend that will pick up pace with smart home devices become more popular.
Look out for 5G
Although not expected to arrive until 2020, 5G is on the way and telcos around the world are preparing for it. Other industries are also lining up to invest in the development of a technology that’s so rich in potential benefits. The improved speeds of 5G services will boost mobile VoIP usage as congestion becomes a thing of the past. It will also allow for the development of more sophisticated VoIP-based applications and tools, which can further increase the productivity of a workforce. In the year ahead, industry leaders will be putting this technology to the test and developing applications.
Data centres are vital
VoIP providers need to have excellent data centre networks – it’s fundamental for the delivery of a seamless service that will meet customer expectations. As the demand increases, data centres will have to be prepared to handle the uptake of VoIP services. They need to have sufficient bandwidth and security provisions, and networks with low latency and redundancy, to enable high-quality voice calls despite increased traffic.
Other factors affecting the quality of VoIP calls include the number of data centres available, their location and the availability of backup servers. A disaster recovery plan should also be put in place to ensure a minimal impact on business operations if anything does go wrong. Operators with data centres spread over geographic locations are less vulnerable to localised incidents such as floods or earthquakes, and calls to regions further afield won’t be as susceptible to delays due to latency. VoIP resellers need a partner to provide such a network – those with only one data centre will never be able to match the quality of service offered by competitors who offer more.
There is a rapidly growing interest in Voice over LTE (VoLTE), which caters for wireless operators by transmitting digitised voice packets over a 4G LTE network rather than dedicated voice channels. VoLTE allows voice and data to share the LTE band in mobile devices, which is a more efficient channel. This has significant cost benefits as spectrum that had been allocated to voice services can be repurposed for data services, allowing operators to carry more calls and rely less on the costlier circuit-switched cellular voice infrastructure. Since VoIP can also be encoded with HD-voice codecs, the quality and overall customer experience can be significantly improved over legacy voice systems.
Workforces are enjoying the unprecedented freedom afforded to them by an ever-growing number of connected devices allowing them to keep the lines of communication open regardless of geolocation. This trend is sure to keep gaining pace through 2018, with rapidly growing numbers of mobile workers or “telecommuters”. A high proportion of CEOs see mobility as a top priority for gaining a competitive edge, making VoIP an important tool for their businesses with tangible benefits in terms of reduced operational costs.
This is an exciting space to be in as new technological developments and trends converge to create more agile and capable communication solutions, which you can ultimately deliver to your customers. To learn more, read our Guide to selling managed services: VoIP and unified communications.
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