News: Cost and quality are some key benefits of Voice over IP technology.
WhatsApp crossing the benchmark of carrying 100 million voice calls per day shows the growing demand for Voice over IP (VoIP) calls as consumers move away from traditional ways of communicating.
The chat app offers the facility to all its users, allowing them to transmit a voice conversation as ordinary internet traffic rather than as an ordinary voice call. This means that callers can use wi-fi networks or their data plans to make these calls.
While VoIP is now offered through mobile applications such as WhatsApp and Messenger, mobile operators are increasingly providing the technology as part of the package offered to their customers.
According to a report by Zion Research, global demand for the VoIP services market was valued at over $83 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach over $140 billion in 2021 with a compound annual growth rate of above 9.1 percent between 2016 and 2021.
EE recently introduced Voice over 4G calling, having offered Voice over wi-fi since 2015. Three has offered Voice over 4G since September, and both Three and O2 offer an app for voice over wi-fi. Since October Vodafone has also offered voice over wi-fi.
VoIP requires a handset that is specifically enabled with the technology and offers several major benefits.
For one thing, the use of wi-fi networks saves money, since wi-fi data is not usually capped. It also offers more pervasive coverage, with wi-fi networks often being available in areas where normal cellular coverage is not. The call quality offered in these calls is also said to be better and the calls connect faster.
For businesses, the benefits of cheaper and higher quality calls through Voice over IP calling are obvious, with the added fact that employees travelling abroad could use wi-fi calling to avoid potentially hefty data roaming charges.
The strong expansion of WhatsApp’s voice calls suggests that this is a market that operators will ignore at their peril, and businesses could be one of the key areas set for expansion.