Currently VoIP is a no-brainer for calling. The mix of more functionality at greatly reduced costs makes it the sensible calling choice for anyone paying attention.
While this should make the VoIP market reach $86.2 billion by 2020, according to Future Market Insights, it also is drawing attention from governments that to this point have given the technology a free pass, and hackers who are seeing a greater opportunity for mayhem and illicit gains.
“Despite the communication confusion that the FCC is always trying to overcome, they have already placed a few regulations on the VoIP industry,” he noted in a recent blog post, Year-End Watch List: 10 VoIP Trends to Keep an Eye on. These include regulations on E911 service, number porting, calling records, universal service and accessibility. But McFarland suggests that FCC (News - Alert) regulations could be targeted toward further facilitation towards reciprocal compensation.
Reciprocal compensation, often used by Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLECs), allows call rates as low as $0.00 per minute. That’s much less than the $0.30 per minute that sometimes comes with traditional phone service, a big loss in terms of inter-carrier compensation. Regulation in reciprocal compensation could be a big blow to CLECs.
Governments also are trying to figure out how to better tax VoIP, another trend suggested by VoIP Innovations.
“Currently, the only tax imposed on VoIP is a regulatory fee for the cost of VoIP services,” McFarland noted. “The Federal Excise Tax applies a three percent tax to local services. However, due to the rising growth of the VoIP market, don’t be surprised if the government finds new ways to tax VoIP communications as a new revenue stream.”
Cybercriminals are a rising concern, too. VoIP fraud is becoming an increasing issue, especially for domestic calling. That’s because domestic calling patterns are easier for hackers to determine, and unlike international calls they require less carrier involvement. Cybercriminals are tapping into VoIP networks for auto dial campaigns and free calling, and 2016 could be the year that this threat gets larger enough that the industry must address it more directly.
None of these trends will put a significant brake on growth, but they could shake things up a bit for some in the industry.