Despite the sheer number of VoIP providers around the world offering similarly priced services, it seems that only a few players have managed to stake significant market claim among consumers. However, time has proven time and again that a dominant market share doesn't always stay that way as shakeups in the tech world occur often.
According to a blog post from GetVoIP.com, Skype, Google (News - Alert) Talk and "paid services like Vonage" are the most talked about service providers. The post goes on to add that the trends associated with the uptake of these services must be examined in order to pinpoint where and when new developments may occur that shake up the VoIP market.
It's a bit more complicated than that, though, as there is a lot more to the history of VoIP. For example, VoIP has played a big role in both the government and education sectors, which typically require more than what free VoIP services like Skype and Google Talk offer. Indeed, the difference between paid and free VoIP is another important factor in predicting market performance.
Paid (News - Alert) services such as Vonage typically use traditional landline telephones, or office telephones, just connected through an existing high-speed Internet connection instead of phone lines. This type of VoIP has a number of distinct advantages over traditional phone service, most notably a much lower price point. Its primary advantages over free VoIP services, meanwhile, include the use of traditional phones and reliable fixed monthly pricing.
So, based on this information, what trends can we expect in VoIP going forward? According to GetVoIP, the market in general should continue to grow since the cost savings VoIP offers over landlines are attracting more customers every day. Until usage grows significantly, though, the VoIP market will likely stay fairly open.
Meanwhile, nearly 80 percent of businesses are expected to be using VoIP by the end of the year, with 49 percent already doing so. This makes a lot of sense as businesses have a lot more money to save by switching to VoIP, particularly in terms of how much cheaper PBX (News - Alert) software of hosted PBX is compared to legacy PBXs. Add in the money saved in maintenance and it becomes even more of a no brainer.
In terms of VoIP providers, more mobile-focused offerings like Facebook Messenger, which has been rolling out VoIP capabilities recently, and Apple's (News - Alert) FaceTime may surpass the current market leaders if they don't manage to keep up in terms of features.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey