Many businesses around the world have already embraced VoIP technology for their telecommunication needs. In addition to the reduced costs offered, VoIP services also offers many features that a traditional phone systems does not. Analysts have estimated that 80 percent of PBX systems are sold worldwide.
In an article by Andre Joubert, General Manager at MWEB Business, acceptance of VoIP in South Africa has been very slow compared to other countries. However, major steps are now being done to tackle the obstacles of the adaptation of VoIP in South Africa. Joubert is optimistic that VoIP would gain momentum within the next two years.
According to a study by Nemesis Research in 2011, 55 percent of the surveyed companies had already implemented VoIP or are currently in the process of integrating VoIP into their company. Further, 42 percent of the respondents are in the stages of evaluating, planning and implementing various telecommunication solutions.
The high cost of bandwidth and the implementation of data caps of ADSL connection are the main reasons for the sluggish implementation of VoIP in South Africa. “It was a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation,” says Joubert. “The quality of voice calls over ADSL wasn't great, so ADSL was accused of being unsuitable for VoIP. The problem, however, was that businesses were trying to squeeze too much over ADSL pipes that were too small and too slow.”
For SMEs, a 1mpbs connection is already sufficient for two concurrent calls. However, before, most SMEs could not afford a 1mbps connection.
Fortunately, issues regarding connectivity are now being addressed. MWEB Business, South Africa’s leading provider of internet access, application services, network support and consultancy services to businesses, thinks that working with technology experts would be a step in the right direction to fully understand voice and data. Experts could also provide technical knowledge of properly implementing and managing VoIP services. With this is mind, Joubert expects a widespread acceptance of VoIP in South Africa.