An Era of New Services, Competitors, and Opportunities
The emergence of IP as a robust and viable alternative for delivering voice services has shaken the telecommunications industry to its core. The ability to packetize voice and deliver it efficiently over the broadband access network has enabled a myriad of new competitors – wireless, cable, and Internet service providers – to stake their claims in the voice services market. Potentially more damaging than the resulting loss of access lines, new voice over IP (VOIP) competitors are also undermining the margin basis for voice services. This is forcing traditional voice service providers to optimize operational expenses and diversify service offerings.
Fortunately, even as it enables competitive challenges, a phased evolution to VOIP gives service providers the foundation for new integrated packet services and provides an opportunity to reduce overall service delivery costs.