What is the Impending US Recession Doing to the Voice Over Internet Protocol VoIP Industry?
It’s well known that the current situation in the United States has lead to a major slow down in the economy. This ominous event is being observed with: sky rocketing gas prices, rising prices in precious metals like Gold, the falling US dollar, high unemployment rates, and plummeting home values. This all leads to less business to business spending (B2B) and consumer to business spending (C2B). These elements have stoked the media fire storm and panicked many Americans.
On a positive note, VoIP is very inexpensive compared to traditional PSTN phone services, so it is in a good position to weather a cyclone such as a likely imminent US recession. More businesses could switch over to VoIP in order to save money. This is especially true because of high travel costs due to the rising price of fuel. VoIP enables employees to telecommute at low prices. Webex and 1videoconerence aka vmukti are examples of low cost video conferencing providers. Conferencing is a green solution because it allows people to get into planes and cars less often, thus saving in ones personal carbon foot print. If some small VoIP termination providers shut down because of this virtual recession, other companies will be able to increase their piece of the Voice over IP market pie, enhancing their bottom line. Customers of VoIP will benefit from VoIP provider’s reducing prices due to excess network capacity. It may be brutal, but the VoIP industry is better established than it was in 2001, and won’t be stomped out indefinitely.
On the negative side of the spectrum, companies that employ VoIP may cut back on it. VoIP service providers need to be able to cater to small amounts of traffic, or they may get no business at all. VoIP software vendors and Equipment makers will be seeing lesser sales due to the scaling back of businesses. They will need to find creative new ways to gain more business with less demand.
Service Delivery Platforms provide VoIP service providers with hosted PBX solutions, callback, SIP blocking solutions, policy control, soft phones, and other features. Providing open source technology that makes many of their services free and available to everyone is one way that hosted platforms for network and application providers are beating the woes that the impending recession is causing. Open source initiatives are growing internationally faster than on US soil because of more aggressive proprietary attitudes in the US, and a laze faire attitude abroad.
We will have to wait and see how this all pans out, and to see how far the trough of this near recession will go. Despite, the VoIP industry seems to be in good shape. Maybe VoIP industry analysts are right because VoIP’s already low costs won’t hurt the VoIP industry as much as it would a manufacturer of luxury items that are highly vulnerable to a faltering economy like Apple who makes Ipod mp3 players, IPhones, Apple TV, accessories and more. Maybe industry experts are being too confident about how VoIP will hold out in the likely recession. I think in this case the former is correct.