As you know, PSTN has been in power since forever with regard to communication services. PSTN was known for its reliability, quality audio calls. However, it started and ended there. Communication services were stagnant for decades until VoIP services came with features like video conferencing, voicemail and other services. The way the world perceived communication changed with the development of VoIP services in the picture.
Challenges and Obstacles VoIP faced
Back in the 1990s, VoIP came into existence and did not build a good image due to lack of internet connectivity and affordability. PSTN calling services came higher. VoIP did not build its network due to a very simple reason- it never allowed its users to make phone calls free of cost. Later this was worked upon- one of the reasons why VoIP gained recognition.
About 2 decades later, VoIP boomed into the lives of professionals, homes and so on- all thanks to the availability of internet connection available worldwide. VoIP services also introduced new functionality (like click to call, multi-device ring etc.) However, that never guaranteed the success of VoIP or its consistency with regard to success. Due to criminal offenses committed using IP phones, security challenges, privacy invasion etc., authorities started questioning VoIP service providers in India, Dubai etc. Governments debated over the transition from PSTN to VoIP. In many countries, VoIP regulation doesn’t even exist yet even though service providers exist.
The Issue- Government versus VoIP
Globally speaking, countries like China, revolted against VoIP services. Countries, amongst themselves, have tried fighting out this discussion over retaining VoIP systems in countries like India or not. However, there’s been cases direct or indirect banning of VoIP services as it may have concerns with hostility.
What is it about VoIP that makes governments so nervous?
Very difficult to regulate: From the perspective of a regulatory body, new technologies have to be regulated but are hard to do so. Regulatory bodies need to be sure, well- trained and aware of how to govern such industries.
Let’s take the example of USA- for the longest time, big players in the VoIP market like IP Momentum took over communication and brought it up to another level. However, IP Momentum never had situations like cybercrime, hidden fees etc. Which is when VoIP services became popular across nations around the time 1990s.
This level of interception is difficult to implement for VoIP since encryption technology does not have a back door, so to speak. Many governments have been trying for years to crack the most popular encryption algorithms. They’ve also tried to get software developers to install backdoors specifically for such a use, although it has been met with resistance. It is yet another reason for governments to view VoIP as a threat or risk. As VoIP looks set to replace the PSTN, government opposition is yet another challenge that the technology has to overcome.
However, VoIP has a bright future because of the benefits it has. In fact, VoIP services for MNCs, small companies, call centers etc. have been signing up for VoIP solutions since 2000 with exceptional improvement in ROI, in no time, at the most cost-effective prices. VoIP not just increased employment opportunities but, it helped improve the outreach of companies to foreign nations, cities etc. and become locally and globally effective at all levels.