The Future of IP Telephony
IP Telephony is a rapidly emerging technology for voice communication that uses the ubiquity of IP-based networks to deploy IP Technology enabled devices in enterprise and home environments. IP Technology enabled devices, such as desktop and mobile IP phones and gateways, decrease the cost of voice and data communication, enhance existing features, and add compelling new telephony features and services.
The challenges in front of IP telephony is to delivery of voice, fax, or video packets in a dependable flow to the user, at a level comparable to that of the PSTN. Much of IP telephony focuses on that challenge.
IP telephony can be used in bigger companies to deploy powerful, integrated voice, video and data applications delivering:
low cost videoconferencing
true integration of databases and legacy systems
multi-channel call centers
real time collaboration
Systems vendors and service providers plan to use IP Telephony to create unified communications systems that integrate voice calls, voice mail, E-mail, instant messaging, and conferencing. IP Telephony makes it easier to retrieve a voice message from a PC or have E-mail read over a phone. Such apps exist now, but they'll become more integrated and easier to use over the next couple of years.
Telecom software development is wrought with challenges. Applications must work with cell phones, PDAs, office phones, PBXs, and call centers and operate across a range of wired and wireless networks from different service providers. They also need to scale to millions of users. While those challenges won't go away, IP Telephony can make it easier to tackle them.
Another goal is to voice-enable more applications so users can access features, find information, and route messages using simple voice commands. The ease of rerouting Ip Telephony calls makes it easier to provision remote workers, letting them answer calls from home and appear as if they're in a call center.
In the meantime, IP Telephony adoption remains slow despite growing provider and customer interest. And while applications will no doubt enhance the technology's appeal, for now IP Telephone price-tag remains its biggest selling point. As more and more people conduct their business or some part of their work from home, low cost IP Telephony is perfect for them. There IP Telephony applications must be geared to target not just the bigger companies but also individual home users who can benefit from the use of advanced IP Telephony.