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Why are 1bn people using VoIP?

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A staggering one billion people, out of a total global population of 7,5-billion, will be using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to communicate with each other by the end of 2017.
That’s according to Juniper Research figures quoted by local independent telecoms provider, Otel, which offers carrier-grade VoIP services over 250 000 km of fibre.
“When 1 out of every seven people alive today is using a single technology to talk to each other, that’s huge. The potential for greater cooperation is tremendous,” says Otel CEO, Rad Jankovic.
The fact that VoIP services provide clients, large and small, access to feature rich managed IP telephony solutions and can also be delivered on top of fibre links are sometimes more than 50% cheaper than fixed-line voice rates have been some of the biggest selling point for the technology in this age of digital migration. Mr Jankovic elaborates on VoIP’s winning features below:
* VoIP is cheaper than it has ever been because interconnection rates between telecoms networks plummeted several years ago. The average savings businesses see after switching to VoIP range anywhere from 30% to 75%. That’s according to Telzio, Inc. Otel’s own experience locally indicates businesses will see savings of up to 45%.
* The Internet makes it easy to develop feature-rich VoIP applications that can be used by anyone, without any external equipment necessary. Being able to use an employee’s usual IT hardware to make voice calls enhances productivity and reduces the cost of maintaining additional telecoms equipment. There is an abundance of feature rich IP systems available that offer full Unified Communications (UC) benefits to smaller and larger enterprises, thus taking them into the new age of managed, unified, digital communication.
* VoIP’s voice quality is rapidly becoming better than mobile and fixed line. This is because the rollout of high-speed local data networks continues unabated. For example, one new national LTE-A network is already in pre-commercial trials.
* Unified Messaging (UM) is one of VoiP’s unique, standout features. UM saves employees real productivity minutes each day by collating voice and text-based messages across different platforms and delivering them in one handy and easy-to-access format.
* The 087 prefix used to be synonymous with VoIP. While it is still the prefix most commonly assigned to clients, VoIP providers now offer geographic number ranges for customers who prefer to be associated with a specific city or region. There are other VoIP number ranges as well these days, so it is no longer a case of 087 needs to fit everyone.
* Switching to VoIP now means you won’t feel the pain of being left behind using laughably old technology. According to ICASA, South African corporates and consumers are abandoning copper technology at the rate of some 15 000 lines every month.
“VoIP is quickly overtaking traditional landlines as the world’s telecoms technology of choice. While there are many individual reasons for going the VoIP route, ultimately it’s about backing the best technology for the age,” says Jankovic.
“Finally, VoIP savings often enable clients to receive better fibre-based voice and data performance for the same or less investment compared to copper infrastructure.”