The Future Of VOIP by Ron King
VOIP's First Hurdle
With all the advantages of VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol),
there is still 1 drawback -- it cannot give you total wireless
phone communication like a cell phone. Cell phones and VOIP seem
to be 2 different animals. True, you can have a wireless internet
connection (including VOIP) with Wi-Fi hot spots, but they are
of no use to your cell phone. Or are they?
In fact, dual mode phones are already reaching the market.
A few companies (including Motorola) have introduced cell phones
that can automatically switch to VOIP when they detect a WiFi
hotspot. This is sure to be popular with consumers who want the
reduced costs of VOIP. Yet it is likely to be grudgingly adopted
by cellular phone companies, who stand to lose considerable profits.
Industry analysts, however, predict this kind of service will
be widespread within the next 5 years. Cellular phone companies
will have no choice but to offer plans which combine VOIP and
cellular, otherwise they will lose business to companies that
step in to fill the void.
The next step after cell/VOIP integration is the replacement
of cell networks with wireless VOIP. A new wireless technology
called WiMax is in the works: city-wide wireless networks that
operate at much faster speeds than what is available today. Such
a network would allow anyone in range to use a VOIP wireless
phone. This technology could also be used to transmit video and
audio, possibly replacing services like video rentals and radio.
WiMax is currently in the testing stage around the world. While
it is a great idea, it may cause disruptions within several industries,
such as movie theatres, DVD distributors and traditional phone
companies -- all of which may lose if this technology becomes
Fortunately, it's difficult to hold back technological innovation.
New technology usually presents challenges and opportunities
to existing industries. The phone companies and entertainment
industries will be challenged, but could potentially thrive in
the new WiMax environment if they find the proper niche. For
example, faster broadband will likely make VOIP video phones
a common item. There will undoubtedly be many unforeseen applications
to this new technology.
Did You Say FREE?
Another future trend to watch for is the possibility of free
internet telephony. After all, we do not pay for regular data
transmission over the internet, so why pay VOIP service providers
$15 or so per month? Voice data is the same as any other data
that travels over the Internet. Some observers predict that as
VOIP is more universally adopted, monthly fees for telephone
service will disappear.
Of course, there would still be a charge for the basic Internet
connection, but as bandwidth continues to grow, a single internet
connection could be used for telephone, television, e-mail --
and surfing the net.
Soon ET can not only phone home -- it'll be a free call.
About the Author
Ron King is a full-time researcher, writer, and web developer.
Visit http://www.voip-solutions-now.com to
learn more about this subject.