Is this the end of the Landline?

4 · JUL ·2014

This week the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published their annual report which determines the amount of income and basic necessities needed by households in order to have what they term an ‘adequate standard of living’. The Foundation claim that along with being able to realistically afford food, transport and childcare, households also need a computer and Internet connection in order to live adequately in this day and age.

However, one item that has fallen off of their list of necessary items is a landline, as they claim that an increasing amount of people are doing away with them as they are seen as an unnecessary cost. These days, it is unusual for an adult living in the UK not to have a mobile phone, and unlike twenty years ago individuals now call each other’s mobiles instead of a landline which is accessible to an entire household. Abigail Davis, one of the report’s authors, said: “In the past, working-age groups agreed that a landline was required in order to be able to access the Internet. But in 2014, working-age people without children agreed that communication needs could be met using a mobile telephone and Internet via a dongle.”

Now that landlines are no longer used to make phone calls they may be heading towards the end of their lifespans, as broadband connections are now also becoming less reliant on traditional landlines. As Abigail Davis pointed out, individuals are starting to use dongles to connect to the Internet, however these are not generally considered reliable and they often fail to provide adequate upload and download speeds. This is why a new broadband service has launched in London called ‘Relish’, which allows users to connect to the Internet via a router but provides the same Internet connection as a landline.

Relish uses 4G signals in order to connect users to the Internet, however even though this new technology will be beneficial for individuals, businesses have already been moving away from landlines for a considerable amount of time now. In fact, a number of businesses now choose to use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology in lieu of landlines in order to make both voice and video calls. One of the benefits of VoIP over landlines is that you are not charged extra for making calls at certain times or to other countries, which can reduce overheads for international corporations.

VoIP also offers businesses the ability to integrate their phone systems with their computer systems, enabling them to send voicemails to their email inboxes, record and listen to calls at a time that suits them, conference messaging and instant messaging to name a few. David Lee, vice president of product management for RingCentral, said: "It [VoIP] allows users to have a lot more control over the things they do with their calls that they couldn't do before. You can slice and dice this information by individual employees or groups of employees."

Here at Fluidata we have been providing businesses with tailored VoIP solutions for a number of years now, enabling products that are not only cost effective but also beneficial to the everyday running of businesses. We work with numerous industry VoIP leaders and systems that enable businesses to effectively manage communications both internally and externally, ultimately providing transparency when it comes to communication.

With the increasing availability and affordability of technology such as VoIP, it can be assumed that the traditional landline will not be around in another twenty years. New technology has enabled both individuals and businesses to seamlessly connect to the Internet via means that were not available just a short time ago, which means that it is likely we will see even more developments in VoIP and other technologies in the near future.

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Sanita Karra

Posted by Sanita Karra