The last decade saw huge leaps forward in telecommunications technology, particularly in the business sphere, and innovation isn’t in the habit of standing still.

The 2010s saw VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephony really take off as a viable and reliable communications solution for businesses, many of which made major savings and moved to new providers.

High-speed and high-quality internet connections became widely available and more cost-effective, and many businesses and sectors started the shift towards cloud-based services.

Thanks to this move to the cloud, we became familiar with remote, flexible working and working from home (back when it was a choice, not a medical and legal necessity) and the rollout of fibre broadband to many parts of the UK gained speed.

So what will telephony and telecommunications look like in the 2020s and beyond?

With the way businesses are using the internet to deliver and utilise services constantly evolving, this decade could prove to be really exciting. Let’s take a look at what could be in store.

Hosted telephony becoming standard practice

The shift to the cloud is continuing at an extraordinary pace and shows no signs of slowing down in the coming years. Indeed, hosted telephony is set to become the norm in the business world.

Many organisations want to get rid of the need for physical equipment on their premises and take advantage of the benefits of cloud-based office phone systems.

Some of the many advantages include geographic flexibility, impressive cost savings, scalability and reliability.

The great ISDN shutdown

We’ve known for several years that ISDN voice services are set to come to an end in the UK in 2025. This will change the way we consume voice services, and also means that businesses who are still making do with traditional analogue office phone systems will need to upgrade or risk losing their ability to communicate altogether.

Thousands of UK businesses still need to replace their legacy phone systems because of the upcoming ISDN switch-off, but they’ll benefit from much greater capabilities when they do.

Upgrading our networks to fibre

Businesses and residential consumers will be further boosted in the coming decade as all the major providers switch from the UK’s traditional telephone network – the ‘public switched telephone network’ (PSTN) – to VoIP, which carries calls over a broadband connection and allows for greater clarity and reliability.

Openreach, the organisation responsible for installing and maintaining the UK’s digital network, has adopted a fibre-first approach so that on any upgrades it carries out superfast FTTP (fibre to the premise) is now deployed instead of the FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) technology of the previous decade. These new full-fibre networks will be able to provide speeds of up to 1Gbps straight to your door, allowing for super-stable and reliable call connectivity.

AI integration

Another exciting innovation over the next decade is the potential for integrating artificial intelligence into voice services. For example, an AI voice bot could provide the initial response to customers’ calls and give answers to common questions that the firm is asked. If the question is too complex, a human operative can then take over.

An order of magnitude smarter than an auto-attendant, this is likely to provide major efficiencies to call flow and worker productivity and improve customer service.

The possibilities of 5G

The rollout of 5G has begun and as its coverage expands more widely across the country,  it’s not only good news for consumers but for businesses too. When your mobile workforce is out and about and not hooked up to WiFi, they will still be able to access your cloud phone system thanks to the 5G network’s superfast data speeds.

If you would like to learn more about the future of business phone systems, Time Communications would be happy to talk you through the options available to you. Contact Time Communications’ expert team on 0113 2059640, you can request a callback on our home page, email at [email protected] or message us here.