It has been a decade since VoIP became a standard telecommunications tool. Its age has not slowed the development of the technology, however. For instance, Twilio this week announced a VoIP advancement that it says could improve ease of use of enterprise-based systems.
According to GigaOm, Twilio will use an approach called Global Low Latency (GLL), which repurposes the approach used by the public switched telephone networks (PSTN) that VoIP is displacing.
A call on the PSTN offers great quality because a circuit is guaranteed. VoIP, to this point, has cut costs by sending packets via the best available path. Though cheaper, this approach introduces imperfections. Twilio’s idea is to limit the extremes of the traditional VoIP approach:
Twilio is basically forcing its VoIP calls to take that most direct route through its regional communications nodes. The end result is better call quality through fewer dropped packets, less jitter, and less crosstalk caused by the delay in the time a word is spoken and heard by the listener.
Just as in the cellular sector, quality among VoIP providers varies. The reason is pretty simple: As the Twilio news suggests, executing the basic premise of slicing up a stream of data packets, sending and reassembling those packets can be done in several different ways. These highly technical details govern whether a conversation is perfect or sounds like a 1970s-era international long distance call.
VoIPReview.org yesterday released its ratings of the higher quality residential VoIP companies. The top three VoIP providers, according to the organization, are ITP, Phone Power and VoIPo. On the enterprise side, MyVoipProvider named what its editors consider to be the top three business providers: Vonage, RingCentral and Jive.
Though VoIP has been around for a while, it continues to grow. According to Frost & Sullivan, the North American market for VoIP and the Session Initiative Protocol (SIP) Trunking services market will grow from $2.83 billion last year to $9.35 billion in 2019. The growth is attributed to the transition of businesses to IP-enabled voice and related services from private branch exchange (PBX).
In other news on the VoIP front, WhatsApp is rumored to be readying a VoIP-based voice app for the iOS version of its hugely popular messaging service. Screen shots showing the new feature were said to have been found by an Italian site. Also, Frontier Communications this week launched a cloud-based VoIP service called AnyWare. It is aimed at enterprise customers, according to FierceTelecom.
VoIP has revolutionized voice communications, and that’s quite a feat. What may be an even bigger deal is that it may just be getting started.