The potential of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) adoption is being accelerated by the current global economic recession which has forced many organizations globally to cut back on their telecommunications expenses while increasing the duration, number and variety of calls being made globally. The primary catalysts of VoIP’s growth are its potential for cost reductions, operational improvements in organizations, convergence and business tool integration, and the development of entirely new services (Bayer, Xu, Rakocevic, Habermann, 2010). State-of-the-art VoIP systems are capitalizing on these market forces today and will continue to be adopted and contribute to the growth of enterprise-wide deployments of call centers, service centers, trading networks and exchanges, and global services organizations that are economically scalable due to the low costs of VoIP (Bradbury, 2007). In addition, mobile VoIP to support smartphones and social network integration are going to be commonplace within three years. The intent of this analysis is to evaluate how state-of-the-art advances in VoIP will impact the overall cost performance, efficiency, and global competitiveness of organizations in the next three to five years. VoIP Technology Trends
The progression of many organizations from relying on their standardized Pubic Switched telephone Network (PSTN) to VoIP is illustrated in Table 1, VoIP Technology Innovations over PSTN Platforms (Ghaffar, 2004). This table provides insights into how VoIP’s core technology advantages are redefining the enterprise-wide telecom platform and services market. Foremost among the advantages of VoIP is the ability to treat communications as packet-based instead of relying on the inherently unscalable circuit-switched based technology of PSTN-based networks. VoIP also is more suitable for point-to-point (P2P) based network integration including support for the widely tested and adopted IPSec and Virtual Private Network (VPN) security protocols so pervasive in global enterprises today (Gordon-Smith, Wing, 2006). Finally the key issues separating each of these technologies are their use of asymmetric regulation for number and emergency service versus spectrum trading practices of VoIP (Jeong, Kakumanu, Tsao, Sivakumar, 2009). These are in effect the communications channels and platforms used for managing traffic across their respective networks. Lastly the approach to defining edge-centric networks has also lead to context- and location-aware mobile VoIP networks. Open source operating systems will accelerate this change over time.
Table 1, VoIP Technology Innovations over PSTN Platforms
VoIP Functionality Characteristics| PSTN Functionality|
Packet-based based on IP definition and security constraints | Circuit-switched lacking scalability for build-out of global operations | P2P and secured connection protocols including IPSec and VPN | Interconnection based on circuit logic | Quality of Service (QoS) can be quantified as a performance metric| QoS is based on capacity constraints over IP connections | Shared costs over IP networks| Calling Party Pays (CPP)|
Unlicensed bands, spectrum trading, competition policy, emergency service | Asymmetric regulation (numbering, universal and emergency service)| Edge-centric approach to defining intelligent nodes on the network | Network-centric control and intelligence over a shared circuit network | Soruces: (IDC, 2006) (Liao, Wang, Zhu, 2008) (Tamasi, Orincsay, Jozsa, 2006)
In addition to the catalysts of growth as defined in the introduction of this analysis including cost reduction, operational improvements, business tool integration and convergence of new services, the fact that both PSTN and VoIP communication technologies can be combined in a hybrid network is also leading to rapid adoption of the latter. VoIP’s scalability and state-of-the-art support for...