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How VoIP is riding the wifi explosion

Updated on July 14, 2011

Mobile VoIP and Wifi

Mobile VoIP has always been in the shadow of regular wired VoIP lines and with good reason. The problems plaguing wireless data plans such as frequent disconnections, lag and more recently data caps have conspired to ensure that the adoption rate of mobile VoIP still remains relatively low. However, a recent and unexpected trend is emerging to give it a much needed facelift and that helping hand comes from an unlikely source - wifi.

Wifi is about as close to a great Internet experience you can get wirelessly so far. While 4G promises the same kind of service, we've yet to see it roll out extensively. Moreover, wifi is easy to set up and it's trivial to convert a regular wired landline to a wireless service. This means that every person can take it into their own hands to create the wireless network they want in the places where they spend the maximum amount of their time - either at home or at the office.

In a world where telcos draw strict lines between wireless and wired data connections, wifi is a mix of the two. It's originating source is almost always a wired connection and so telcos don't have the ability to restrict it and impose data caps and speed caps like they do with wireless. And this has led to many innovative ways in which mobile VoIP can finally come into its own.

Mobile VoIP
Mobile VoIP

Omnipresent Wifi = good new for VoIP

Over the past few years, more and more wifi hotspots have been emerging which allow people to connect to the Internet no matter where they are. It's like a massive decentralized network with each wifi router acting like its own node. In fact, there are even philosophies built around unsecured networks and letting others leech off your Internet connection. With such ubiquitous wifi, people are seriously beginning to consider using Mobile VoIP as their primary communication network when within range of one. And since at home or work we can create our own networks, this takes care of 80% of our communications.

We can always use our data plans or even the regular mobile phone for the rare cases when we're not within a network. Our phones can even be configured to go into "airplane mode" when wifi is available so that battery is conserved.

We're not sure where this trend is headed, but it's certainly very interesting. Businesses can outsource their VoIP services to avoid any hassle since hosting an SIP proxy server is not trivial and requires significant expertise. There are many reasons to switch to hosted PBX and mobile VoIP is just one of them.

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