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Wifi to play a bigger role in VoIP adoption

Updated on September 28, 2011

VoIP uses a mixture of Technologies

The tech world is pretty merciless when it comes to large companies. Again and again we've seen seemingly invincible organizations brought to their knees by new trends and new business models. The recording industry, newspapers and even certain parts of the once dominant Microsoft have hit new lows in the past few years. All of them have fallen because they refused to adapt to changing realities. As the saying goes in the world of technology - adapt or die.

Telecom companies need to wake up to the truth of that saying and accept the possibility that unless they move with the times, they themselves will be a mere shell of what they are now. VoIP is the new kid on the block and the telcos can either hide themselves into oblivion or change with the times and accept the inevitable.

The refusal of these companies to offer things like data only plans for smartphones when they already do so for other devices such as tablets is going to cost them dearly in the long run. It makes them antagonists and trumpets their fear of what could happen if the floodgates open. VoIP however, like the very technology on which it's built - the Internet - tends to work around restrictions and make use of whatever is available. And that's exactly what's happening.

VoIP over wifi
VoIP over wifi

Wifi - the new cell networks?

In the absence of reliable wireless networks, VoIP smartphone users are beginning to use what's available to satisfy their needs - and wifi fits the bill perfectly. It's almost ubiquitous these days in offices and homes and it has all the features which are perfect for VoIP use. It's free, and it's blazingly fast. The combination of these three characteristics means that everyone with a smartphone can use it to make calls regardless of whether they have a voice plan or not.

In fact, this trend has been recognized by T-Mobile which touts wifi calling as part of its strategy. Quite a surprising thing really for a carrier to openly acknowledge the importance of VoIP calls. It shows that perhaps T-Mobile wants to ride the wave and get a foothold in before all the others. In any case, it's keeping its options open.

Wireless data caps are another factor that might push users to make VoIP calls using their wifi networks. All these considerations means that VoIP hosted PBX systems can be accessed easily from smartphones, enhancing their utility. Given that business can easily switch to hosted PBX, this seems to be an idea whose time has come and because wifi is more power efficient than a wireless radio, that's just icing on the cake.


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