Until recently, nearly all businesses with phone service have a twisted pair of red and green wires passing through the wall to connect to a telephone, via an RJ-11 Jack. You would then be required to pay a monthly fee to a utility company for using this phone service, and an extra amount for long distance service offered by a separate service provider. However, the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) has experienced a long, slow death over the last decade, with even the telcos ditching traditional landline service for Voice Over Internet Protocol or VoIP business phone systems.
Statistics for the transition from telephone landlines to cell phones
A good number of people believe that today’s generation will grow up without ever experiencing the features of a traditional landline, including waiting beside the phone for that important call to come through, being tethered to the phone stand with limited mobility, and twirling the phone cord as you speak out of nervous habit. These changes are only part of the evolutionary process that continues to embrace the latest trends in technology.
Technology companies are forced to change as the society changes to keep up with consumer expectations. A recent survey by one of the divisions of the National Center for Health Statistics revealed that more than 30 percent of American families have already removed their landline telephones, and rely entirely on their cell phones. Additionally, 16 percent of those who still have their landlines barely use them anyway. The number of households using only cellular phones rose to 40.6 percent for homes with children, 58 percent of renters, and 76 percent of adults living with roommates.
Equally, studies suggest that this trend carries over into the work environment, as the businesses too are changing fast to keep up with new technologies to make sure that they are capable of fulfilling the needs of future generations. The advent of Smartphone technology revolutionized the business world, which in turn led to the emergence of advanced communication, and ultimately eliminate employee inconveniences. Modern businesspeople no longer have to check their mail or receive vital work-related phone calls while seated at their desks or in their offices, since they can carry the only necessary form of communication with them, anywhere.
How has VoIP influenced the transition?
The increased use of cell phones in the work place led to substantially bigger mobile services bills, leading to the switch to VoIP business phone systems that are not only capable of accommodating employees but are also considerably budget-friendly in the current down turned economy. Furthermore, business cell phones proved unreliable when they ran into obstacles, like dead zones, within the office. Voice Over Internet Protocol, on the other hand, has emerged as a great replacement for traditional phone systems, owing to its ability to amplify service and reception, which offers greater telephone call quality. Effective communication is vital for businesses since it means happier clients and higher sales.
According to communications industry experts, the use of VoIP telephony in business phone systems will completely take over landline telephony as soon as mobile providers acknowledge the huge possibilities with VoIP. New mobile device users increasingly use downloadable VoIP apps that integrate smoothly with social networking apps, which are extremely popular among young users.
Recent trends indicate that the use of Plain Old Telephone Systems (POTS) in the business environment is almost as obsolete as the DOS computer language and dial-up modems. This is partly because of the increasing affordability of VoIP technology, and the minimal regulation charges imposed by the FCC. Many businesses feel that cutting costs is a necessity in light of today’s economic hardships, and VoIP gives them the opportunity to save without compromising on communications. For instance, VoIP is great for intricate communications like video conferencing and advanced data transmission.
There are other benefits of VoIP business phone systems, including easy management due to the ability to add or remove extensions directly without cabling; the ability to call any geographical location on the same tariff basis; and the early adoption of VoIP telephony in many traditional business phone systems via session initiation protocol – SIP – trunking equipment.
Does this mark the death of the landline?
The loss of the office landline and desk phone is one of those things that every business will eventually have to deal with over the next few years as explained by Craig Borowsk’s article “The Landline’s Days are Numbered.” How soon this happens depends on when cell coverage and high-speed internet will be available in some rural parts of the nation. Additionally, there are some urban areas where businesses still use landlines because of architecture and zones of poor cell coverage.
Other things that may prolong the life of landlines include no interference during power outages compared to cell phones that eventually turn off when the battery discharges, and the ability to automatically identify the caller and location from which a 911 emergency call is coming from. The latter is particularly important to older and disabled people because it offers dependability. While mobile networks now have the capability to know the exact location of a phone, 911 systems also have to be upgraded to make that connection.
Future of VoIP
Some communication experts claim that a few companies that feel as though they will lose a precious adjunct by leaving their aging landline for VoIP business phone systems. This is, however, not much of deterrent to the switch, since a report from IBISWorld showed a 16.7 percent annual growth in the global VoIP and IMS equipment market in North America over the last five years, generating $15 billion in revenue per annum. This trend is expected to continue, and possibly grow, as businesses recognize the benefits of VoIP, which include higher employee morale, higher production, and greater profits. Other factors that may influence the growth of VoIP include the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) embracing and expediting the IP transition, increased measures to secure VoIP network traffic via private networks, data encryption, VoIP Peering and Secure Real Time Protocol (SRTP), and the rise of affordable cloud telephony.