In my view 2012 is going to be a monumental year for voice. Mobile VoIP will arrive. With the rapid increase in the number of mobile phone users, particularly the growing popularity of smartphones, mobile VoIP is going to become very attractive solution for service providers and end users alike.
VoIP-enabled smartphones that can switch seamlessly between regular cellular networks and public or private Wi-Fi networks will be the next big thing. Smartphones are well suited to ensure uninterrupted coverage while keeping costs down.
For mobile service providers, such services can lead to increased ARPU and prevent customer churn. As more and more enterprises enter the world of VoIP and UC mobile VoIP will become an attractive proposition simplifying communications for users on the go and helping to reduce corporate communications expenses.
VoIP is also going to get a little Cloudy. Cloud-based services are becoming increasingly popular in all kinds of fields. Enterprise telecommunications is no exception. Cloud-based VoIP services will offer IT managers flexible licensing plans, web-based management and high availability without the high associated equipment and staffing costs that an on-premises solution requires. In fact, expect small companies to look at making the move to VoIP and UC.
Telcos are starting to think beyond triple play with the connected home. The commoditisation of traditional triple-play services has seen broadband take-up saturate in most developed economies. The slow-down has resulted in a significant reduction of income for Service Providers.
With new connections stalling, industry experts have called on Telcos to innovate and experiment with ‘compelling new services’ or risk being reduced to just controllers of ‘dumb pipes’. Can the industry really reinvent itself and excite us once again?
Many think the new year will mark the arrival of the Connected Home. The next generation of residential broadband gateways are going to go beyond triple play support and modeled on providing an improved user experience with high definition voice and intuitive maintenance and support features. They will also enable the new lifestyle services such as home control and security.
We’ll all be using a bit of UC (Unified Communications). UC systems are becoming more and more popular with enterprises of all sizes due to the productivity benefits and cost savings they offer. Companies looking at upgrading their communications systems in the coming year are very likely to look at UC solutions which can match traditional PBX systems for functionality and offer a lot more in terms of converged data and voice services.