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Where will telephony be in two years?

By February 12, 2022May 26th, 2022No Comments

Where will Telephony Be in Two Years?

Here are some key excerpts from an article from VoIP-News published in July of 2011.

The future of telephony is more difficult to predict than that of other business technologies. For one, telephony services are already so advanced that analysts have a difficult time foreseeing what other calling features and communications applications users will need, even in the near future. For another, the inevitable expansion of telephony services into new markets in developing countries is fraught with complex economical and political issues that revolve around government power and personal access. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that the next two years will see significant changes in the way telephony is delivered to users within an organization as well as to the organization itself. Also, the rise of mobility will continue to blur the line between personal and professional communications.

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Right now, there are two clear trends that will continue to shape business telephony into the next two years:

IP-based communications and mobility. Most experts believe that Voice over IP (VoIP) technologies will eventually supersede analog phone systems. VoIP enables a greater set of communications applications, namely Unified Communications (UC), which will soon become standard features for most organizations’ calling plans.

Many companies already operate a converged network that runs both voice and data traffic. This converged network will continue to evolve until telephony becomes part of the data center, rather than a stand-alone solution in the enterprise.

“Telephony will be a data networking thing, not a voice networking thing. It will be just another bitstream,” says Michael Dortch, principal analyst at

In this scenario, the IP-based phone system will deliver voice services over the corporate network from the data center, just like any other business application. In fact, Zeus Kerravala, Yankee Group senior vice president and distinguished research fellow, has recently pointed out that the new IP-based voice systems are designed to be installed in the data center and perform functions beyond connecting phone calls.

“A next-generation IP-PBX should be thought of as an IP session manager and not a call server. Calls are one of the features enabled by the IP session, but the session brings the ability to layer on video, presence, and other multimedia functions,” Kerravala wrote in an article called “The Future of IP Telephony Still Trapped in the PBX Era.”

Also coming in the near future is the worldwide switch to the next-generation Internet Protocol, IPv6. This year, the last block of IPv4-based IP addresses was doled out, and for more people — and more companies, more computers, more IP-based phone systems, and more Web-enabled mobile devices — to get online, the Internet needs more IP addresses. IPv6 will supply more than 4 billion IP addresses, more than enough to allow VoIP to spread even more quickly than it has in the past couple of years.

Adopting IP-based telephony systems also enables a greater degree of mobility for an organization’s communications. Calls — and other IP-based communications — can more easily be transferred between handsets and other mobile devices than with analog phone systems. And users, with their various smartphones and soft client-enabled tablets, require more mobile telephony features to stay productive. Over the next two years, more people will turn to their own devices to connect with their employers’ telephony systems, making and receiving calls as well as accessing business data on CRM (customer relationship management) and ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems.

Analyst Dortch also believes that organizations will soon begin to purchase their telephony services from providers in different ways, including through fixed price packages that are based on services, service-level agreements (SLAs) for those services, and the number of users. These business telephony packages are likely to mirror today’s individual mobile service plans with unlimited calls and texting. As advanced communications functions become commoditized, these packages will also routinely include unified messaging and unified communications features.

“Also, if a start-up company rents office space, it will come with advanced phone services, with two to three tiers of services. Monthly fees will deepen depending on levels of availability. Unlike now, the buyer won’t know or care who the underlying carrier is. That is already starting,” Dortch asserts.

When he looks further than two years into the future of telephony, Dortch wonders if this market will be completely transformed. “I wonder, will there be phone companies? Will they become adjunct services from data carriers? Will there even be a stand-alone telephony market — do we need one?” Dortch muses.

As IP-based phone systems become the status quo for companies of all sizes and telephony providers create standardized packages with commoditized services, the telephony market will continue to evolve at a fever pitch. Today’s telecommunications technologies will continue to transform the way companies interact with their employees and the way individuals communicate with one another. As mobile communications technologies take hold in developing countries, more and more people will have access to the Internet, and to the rest of the world.

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