The Future of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

With Skype selling out and Gmail making a foray into the world of free Internet calling, now is a good time to ask what the future of Voice over Internet Protocol holds.
A Network World article I read made a very good point:

“When will we ask at what point are public switched telephone network (PSTN) going to be phased out so that everything can be changed over to SIP addresses?

My response would be at about the same time we get rid of the Post Office and switch everything over to e-mail addresses. In other words, never.

There will always be a PSTN. My mom will always have a phone in her house and yes, one of those phones is still a rotary dial. But as she does now, everyone in the near future will have a SIP address for placing and receiving VoIP phone calls. That is the future of VoIP."

There are certainly markets fears that the entry of Skype into the corporate world could be bad news for phone system providers. Yet that is only in free market economies like the United States.

In places such as Lebanon and India, governments are resistant to VoIP because of the pressure put on them by local telecommunications companies. For example in India all of VoIP services must provide written transcriptions of the information that goes through them, ostensibly for security purposes. It is unlikely that this will happen and it is interesting to see how Google will respond concerning their new Gmail Voice product.

It is no wonder that governments are shifty. Telsyte research director Foad Fadaghi said that Skype Connect for enterprise will hurt phone system providers.

"Skype is essentially providing a way for your PBX system to be connected to Skype, rather than a traditional phone system. Therefore phone system and network providers are right to feel threatened.”

He added: “Yet businesses will certainly be attracted to the significant cost savings, particularly those that need to make international calls.”

This could be part of the reasoning why rumours suggest that Cisco will try to buy Skype before the company completes an IPO.

Skype Connect charges costs $7.78 per month per line. It offers outbound calls from desktop phones to mobiles and landlines at normal Skype rates, while you can receive inbound calls through a "click and call" button on a business website.

Skype incorporates traditional PBX features such as automatic call distribution, call routing, conferencing, voicemail, auto-attendant, call recording and more. There are also plans for a videoconferencing feature.

It could be that we are looking at the future of VoIP.

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