Globally, businesses are navigating the uncertainty and challenges due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), one of the most serious global health security threats in decades. Like in South Africa, many countries have had restrictions imposed by government agencies disrupting the daily routines of millions of citizens.
Specifically, COVID-19, has an enormous effect on how business is conducted globally. Social distancing and renewed efforts to facilitate employee sheltering and working from home are critical during the COVID-19 timeline. These aspects have reinforced the value and use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as an important component of both business communication and business rescue plans.
VoIP uses several data and voice transfer technologies such as IP telephony, voice over broadband and Internet telephony to provide communication services. VoIP technology converts voice signals into digital signals which are transferred over an IP-based network. Regular telephones, VoIP phones, computers and mobile phones can be used to make and receive calls.
Through constant development and emergent technologies, VoIP ensures that companies have the convenience of increased mobility and richer engagement. We examine what the future holds for the VoIP communications industry by exploring the predicted trends and technologies that may possibly influence VoIP in 2020.
Decline of old telephone systems
The decline and then final termination of the traditional landline phone system is one of the predictions by telecommunication professionals. The steady decline in the use of landlines is evident in the results of a survey conducted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA indicating that in 2018 more than three out of four adults were living in wireless-only households.
Although some businesses continue to use fixed-line voice connections, they are in the minority compared to those using IP-based voice applications. Future enterprise-level features of VoIP systems will address business requirements with inventive and cost-efficient options with the necessary hardware and software support.
Fifth Generation(5G) wireless networks
Fifth generation (5G) wide-area wireless networks are promising to increase the quality of VoIP services considerably by enabling faster communication speeds and response rates with less call jitter and packet loss.
Blockchain and number portability
Users’ phone numbers are “the most valuable digital identity and will remain the only unique international method of identification well into the future” (2018, Edwin Terek, founder of DIDWW). “Number portability is a significant and important step towards transferring control of the phone number to its real owner, but this process has limitations and does not give the user true ownership over their greatest digital asset – the digital identity,“ (2018, Terek).