Last year, Alan Masarek made news as he left Google to become Vonage’s new CEO.
The Internet has changed the way many of us communicate. While new communication channels like video conferencing apps, social media sites and instant messenger services are very popular and convenient, the growth of broadband Internet usage has also changed the way individuals and businesses use the phone. While traditional landline phones are still in widespread use, they are gradually being overtaken by VoIP solutions, especially among business clients, who demand a powerful telecommunications solution at an affordable price.
The popularity of VoIP is not just a phenomenon that is restricted to American businesses either. Many service providers have appeared all over the world and began offering Internet telephony services to companies in their region. This is something that can be observed especially in the emerging economies of Asia. If businesses everywhere are beginning to adopt VoIP and letting go of traditional phone lines, this is because Internet telephony offers them numerous advantages that makes it a more intelligent choice.
Advantages of VoIP For Business Clients
While many home users have adopted Internet telephony, the main clients of this new communications technology are business users. When the technology was still in its infancy, VoIP was seen as a service still in “beta” stages. Service providers would come and go, features were sometimes limited and call quality simply wasn't up to par with what you would get with a standard landline. But these hurdles have now been overcome. VoIP providers are now stable and reputable companies, businesses can get all the features they need and call quality is the same as with a regular landline.
Today, instead of installing a traditional PBX, a business can sign up with a VoIP provider and get a hosted virtual PBX. This means that they won't have to go through the trouble of purchasing, configuring, maintaining, and eventually replacing equipment on their premises. A virtual PBX can give its users any of the advanced communications features that a business needs, such as the ability to add an infinite number of extensions, voicemail boxes with remote access, unified communications, fax to email, call forwarding, ring groups, voicemail to email transcription, and much more.
Reduced costs are also a big reason why businesses from all around the world are drawn to VoIP providers. Setting up a VoIP system is often much less expensive than a traditional PSTN system, as setup and installation costs are limited. Furthermore, VoIP providers are able to offer their services at lower costs than companies which provide traditional phone lines. Businesses can thus save a lot of money, especially if they require dozens of different phone number with hundreds of extensions. As all calls are carried through the Internet, as opposed to the public telephone network, long distance and international calls are much cheaper. In fact, many VoIP providers offer unlimited long distance to select destination as part of their basic package, without any per-minute fees.
Expansion of VoIP Use Around the World
As the past decade has seen a lot of growth in global economic markets, many new companies have emerged, especially in high-tech sectors such as online application development and Internet marketing services. These companies all need a reliable and affordable phone service to keep in touch with their clients and business partners from all over the world. The problem is that in many countries, broadband Internet is widely available, but the local telephone infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired. Frequent outages, expensive lines and poor service quality are among the main complaints of international businesses.
This is where using VoIP can come in very handy for these companies. They can choose to use a VoIP provider for their entire telephony system, thus ensuring that all of their calls would go through a much more reliable Internet connection.
Companies can also create a virtual presence in all parts of the world. For example, a business located in Europe that has many customers from the US can purchase local or toll-free numbers in the American region and have the calls forwarded to their location overseas. This is something that would have previously been very difficult and very expensive to accomplish, but with VoIP, getting an additional number for incoming calls costs only a few dollars per month and can be set up instantly.
Foreign VoIP Providers Growing
There are many companies from all over the world that develop VoIP-related products and services. One example of a successful VoIP developer is Cooltok, a messaging app startup founded in 2012 in Bangalore, India. The app leverages VoIP technology which allows users to make free voice calls, send text messages, hold text and voice conferences, as well as share files with other app users. The app was quite successful in India and has thus attracted the attention of American buyers. Recently, Cooltok was acquired by US-based Kirusa in a deal that was reached for an undisclosed amount of money.
One of the most attractive elements of the Cooltok app is that it can function on any network and works in a way similar to WhatsApp, which was recently acquired in a $19 billion deal from Facebook. Another popular VoIP app that changed hands recently was Viber, which was acquired for a total of $900 million by Rakuten.
The Future of VoIP Around the Globe
Many industry experts believe that VoIP has a very bright future ahead in all global regions. While new players may emerge and newer, more interesting features could be developed, one thing that will stay certain is that the adoption of VoIP services among personal and business users will continue to grow. So will the development of VoIP-related applications and services, especially outside of the US market.
The popularity of VoIP apps such as WhatsApp and Cooltok has given many ideas to entrepreneurs, who are now trying to develop similar services that will instead be aimed at business users instead of individuals. In the next decade, billions of dollars are expected to be invested in the development of VoIP everywhere in the world and millions of new users are likely to emerge as a result.