Smartphone users turn to VoIP

Smartphone users turn to VoIP

Professionals utilising their smartphones for enterprise purposes are turning in greater numbers towards the benefits of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology.

A new study conducted by Analysys Mason found that business users are moving away from text messaging and traditional voice calls in favour of instant messaging and voice applications.

Over 45 per cent of smartphone users now use an "over the top", or non-operator, instant messaging service, the firm discovered after monitoring the smartphone usage of 1,000 professionals in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and the US.

According to the findings, one in five now use VoIP as an alternative to traditional phone calls, with 20 per cent of professionals utilising the technology more regularly than phone calls.

The most-used voice application was Skype, picked by 79 per cent of VoIP users, or 16 per cent of the total panel. Other VoIP services used included Viber, fring and Google Talk.

Even though the number of people utilising the benefits of VoIP services through their smartphone is relatively low, the firm predicts that usage will continue to grow.

This is a trend that is likely to accelerate as internet connections continue to improve around the UK and as VoIP technologies become more integrated into other messaging services or even social networks.

As the 4G rollout continues at a significant pace the use of VoIP services, which provide cheaper calls and more collaboration between staff at different locations, will continue to grow.

Trefor Davis, a communications expert and council member for the Internet Service Providers' Association UK, said that 4G will help rural firms to use VoIP and video conferencing.

"4G is potentially as fast as superfast broadband and obviously being a wireless service, it does not necessarily have all the same problems that running cables have. A lot of the reasons why these remote areas cannot get broadband is because of the cost of running the cables," Mr Davies explained.