A Starter Kit on VoIP

Need help making sense of the VoIP hype? Quick stats, fast facts about VoIP.

 By Craig McGuire
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Confused about whether Voice over IP is the way for your business to go? You're not the only one.

The technology has been gaining steam in the tech press during the past year, while federal lawmakers and regulators wrangle over who will have the regulatory upper hand.

There's no denying that IP-based calling has a future. Virtually all the major research firms predict more VoIP growth to come.

Take a May, 2004, study of small, medium, and large organizations in North America by telecommunications research firm Infonetics. The results found that:

  • A majority plans to more than double its expenditures on IP voice products and services in 2004.

  • But actual adoption of IP voice in North America is still in its infancy.
  • Hybrid PBXs are the most popular way to provide voice service at respondent headquarter sites.

  • A third of respondents have already deployed IP voice on a wireless LAN, and over half will by March 2006.

  • The IP LAN endpoint type of choice is the IP phone, accounting for an average of 61 percent of respondent IP LAN endpoints; digital phones using IP adapters are a distant second choice.

  • Regional Bell companies and incumbent local exchange providers are the most likely providers to capitalize on managed IP voice services, but a full 42 percent of respondents say they don't know who they'll use.

  • The No. 1 perception of non-adopters is that their current TDM phone systems and services work just fine.

  • Vendors and service providers need to educate their customers on the merits of their IP voice products and services and how they can help address today's business challenges.
  • Not to mention the wrangling under way between state and federal lawmakers over who should have regulatory oversight of the burgeoning technology.

    To address some of the questions, internetnews.com compiled some key information about VoIP into this special section.

    1. At-a-Glance Growth

    2. Tips from the Experts/Regulatory Round-Up

    3. Glossary of VoIP Terms

    1. At-a-Glance Growth: The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) expects VoIP to continue growing along with the adoption of broadband. Shipments of IP PBX lines, which converge voice and data, tell the VoIP story: They are surging, and the residential market is catching on. In a survey of U.S. Internet users, research firm Ipsos-Insight identified a number of VoIP features that are enticing would-be subscribers.


    VoIP Access Lines (millions)

    PBX Lines Shipments

    VoIP Must Have
    This article was originally published on Aug 30, 2004
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