Judith Jackson, Product Manager of Voice Services, ntl Business Division, says “Realistically, widespread adoption of VoIP amongst UK businesses will take place over the next two years. Research from Frost and Sullivan suggests that 75 per cent of the world’s communication traffic will be IP based by 2007. During 2006, we will see a significant growth in the number of pilot projects, with the early adopters starting to pilot network-based VoIP services, rather than CPE services. Migrating to IP Telephony (IPT) can seem daunting, so businesses are looking to suppliers to advise them on how to migrate gradually with minimum disruption and impact.”
“We will also see more evidence of the smarter working benefits, which, so far, have been more of a vision than reality. VoIP is not just about cost savings. It’s about helping people to work smarter with other employees, partners and customers. Smarter working methods will drive efficiency and productivity gains that will be more significant than cost savings. VoIP can be combined with a range of collaborative tools – such as instant messaging and file sharing – making real-time collaboration possible whenever and wherever needed.”
“Cost savings are still important. Routing calls across the internet at a fraction of the cost of public networks generates significant savings for businesses, particularly with calls to mobiles accounting for as much as 50% of all telephone expenditure. In a recent survey by Deloitte, 84 per cent of companies considered cost savings are a critical factor for moving to IP.”
“Moving forwards, for Fixed Operators to be able to sustain and grow business, they will need to diversify from commodity services to offer a more content rich and complex service set, whilst at the same time protecting existing voice and legacy services through continued price reductions:
Jackson makes the following observations;
Low ability to differentiate voice services and strong competition will continue to create price pressure on traditional voice.
Entry of new VOIP players could create additional price erosion where these players introduce innovative and competitive cost structures.
Future communications will be based on technology and applications that are IP and Ethernet based.
Operators who want to play in this market will need to become IP ready between now and 2007.
Retail market growth driven by broadband services (xDSL and cable) and mobile services
Substitution of mobile to fixed? Fixed telephones could recoup some traffic from mobile via introduction of convergent Fixed/mobile devices (driving traffic off the mobile networks). Convergence of devices is a growing technological trend: single access device means you can have a truly single integrated identity instead of multiple contact numbers and mailboxes for example.