Will Business VoIP Usage Increase Consumer Engagement?

Figures suggest that British consumers are still using VoIP services in relatively small numbers. Could uptake in the commercial sector stimulate growth?

VoIP Usage
Communications industry regulator Ofcom has recently published the results of a survey which it took in order to establish the types of telecoms experiences that consumers are going to engage with over the next 12 months.

It also examined how trends changed in 2012 and found that in spite of a growth in awareness about VoIP calling services, less than a third of British consumers actually use VoIP on a regular basis.
Consumer Engagement
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78 per cent of the 2,000 respondents to the survey said that they know about VoIP and what it has to offer, which is a three per cent annual increase in awareness. However, with just 29 per cent actually using VoIP to make calls, it seems there is a disparity between awareness and actual engagement.

Instead the majority of households still rely on a combination of traditional landline phone services and mobile devices to make the calls that they need.

Fixed landline figures have stayed the same for three years, with 84 per cent of households using such a solution. This means that most homes will actually have the means to integrate a VoIP service, even if consumers currently choose to stick with their existing tariffs and packages.

Business Influence
Whilst this data paints a relatively unconvincing picture of the current VoIP market in the UK, there is a chance that real change could be instigated if business usage starts to drive progress.

More and more companies are choosing to take advantage of VoIP services for calling, in part due to the need to make the most of lower costs, but also because this web-based approach is far more flexible and functional than standard analogue landline services.

The usage of mobile VoIP and the growing number of apps which support such calls may also help convince businesses and consumers that this is a technology worthy of their attention.

Several major companies have begun building VoIP into mobile operating systems so that it is a core feature, which should bring it to the attention of an even wider audience.

Of course the end game is to make VoIP a seamlessly integrated part of all telecoms functionality and it seems that this will be an inevitable eventuality. However, before that can happen, more businesses need to embrace the possibilities.

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Mark Hunter
About the Author:

Mark Hunter is a telecoms professional who is looking into VoIP services, such as those offered by soho66.co.uk.

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