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VoIP Market is Healthy, But Not Perfect
Voice over IP (VoIP) phone systems are often hailed as the future of business communication. By routing phone calls over the Internet instead of sending clunky analog signals through dedicated phone lines, VoIP service providers are able to deliver higher quality digital phone systems for much lower prices. In the past, some of the issues concerning VoIP included poor audio quality and dropped calls, but improvements in standard Internet speed and technology have eliminated these concerns. Today the VoIP industry is booming, but there are still pitfalls that come with rushing straight into a business VoIP phone system.
According to Brian E. Walsh on marlinfinance.com, VoIP is on the fast track of growth, and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, as VoIP phone systems prove themselves to be cheaper and more efficient than their landline counterparts, they will only continue to increase in quality at an exponential rate. When it came to Unified Communications (News - Alert), which compile voice video and chat services through IP channels, the enterprise segment went up by a full 27 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.
Cloud computing is the backbone of the VoIP industry, as it makes the concept of hosted VoIP services possible. Hosted VoIP utilizes a private branch exchange (PBX (News - Alert)) located at the service providers' offices instead of one located on-site at the business. Because businesses don't have to pay for the PBX themselves, they are able to save thousands of dollars from the purchase and installation costs alone, as well as the cost for a dedicated IT staff to support it.
Of course, paying monthly for each individual phone line on a hosted PBX server can add up quickly with several phone lines, which makes the concept of an on-site IP PBX attractive. However, installing a PBX or upgrading an existing PBX into a VoIP-compatible IP-PBX requires heavy investments in infrastructure, which not all businesses can afford. Furthermore, purchasing USB headsets and compatible IP-phones is also an expensive endeavor. Utilizing SIP trunking makes the monthly costs for this service go down since they are cheaper than hosted lines and can be shared by multiple phones seats, but the initial investment is still quite large in this case.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson