Telecommunication Providers

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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It's been nearly a decade since the Telecommunications Act, signed into law by Bill Clinton, changed the way that telecom providers do business. In that time, the telecom industry has witnessed many of the intended consequences of that Act, including mass deregulation and its consequent competition. While the so-called "Baby Bells" and LECs (local exchange carriers) incurred much of the impact, upstart telecom providers were given a much more level playing field on which to compete.

More importantly, perhaps, the telecom field is now wide open to new innovations, especially in the field of wireless and VoIP. The next few years will mark a sea change in the way that calls are placed and received and, hence, how telecommunications providers run their businesses. The AT&Ts and Sprints of the world may still own much of the infrastructure used to wire terrestrial calls, but that network is fast becoming less critical to the transmission of data.

Why Is Bandwidth a Big Deal?

What's important now is bandwidth. The more bandwidth a company's network has, the more transactions it can complete in less time. As networks are replaced and upgraded to provide more bandwidth, VoIP will undoubtedly become the primary mode of communication. Although adoption of VoIP in the business world is still a relatively new phenomenon, industry research shows that a majority of companies plan to spend at least double of what they are currently spending on IP telephony in the coming year.

The same survey also found that one-third of businesses surveyed have already implemented IP telephony on a wireless LAN. Quite a few had plans to do so at the time of the survey, with intentions of using IP telephony by the end of Q1 2006. Although many businesses may feel that their current analog phone systems are satisfactory, with numbers like this consistently on the rise, those folks will be in the minority in as soon as two years.

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