VoIP adoption, feature expansion both gaining steam

Adding VoIP services to almost any business can be a strong investment. Such an addition can have plenty of positive effects, helping businesses save money by cutting the cord from phone companies, giving them new features and interconnectivity between online and phone-based service, and boosting performance speed and functionality by leaps and bounds. There's little question that the market is expanding, and even adopting basic VoIP functionality can help businesses improve their bottom lines.

A recent report found that the international VoIP market, as well as the IP equipment that assists businesses with implementing and using these services, totaled nearly $1 billion in the first quarter of 2014, according to EE Herald. That's a steep increase of nearly 40 percent from the first quarter of 2013.

Much of this growth has been driven by voice over LTE services, which are expected to positively impact service providers' markets as they allow for a new and more mobile way for businesses to communicate and make calls. Already, two companies have entered this latest market in the first quarter of 2014 alone, with plenty more expected to join in the near future.

Global growth was reported to see improvement in the year, driven largely by the core IP equipment market as well as voice application servers. VoLTE activity was also experiencing a big increase in the larger North American and Asian markets.

Going mobile for smaller companies
While this growth likely means that the average VoIP service will decrease in price and further improve in functionality, there may be some companies that can't afford a major overhaul. Even with minor purchases, they can experience all the savings of VoIP with few downsides. 

Those businesses that see frequent travel or large phone bills, and can access Wi-Fi reliably, have plenty of mobile options to join the VoIP market, Lifehacker reported. Making calls or video conferencing over the Internet can drastically reduce mobile bills, especially in regions where roaming is a necessity. One of the leading apps on the market for improving VoIP functionality is Viber, an app that allows for free texting and calling over Wi-Fi. Even if you aren't calling someone who has the app, an outgoing call's costs start at just 1.9 cents per minute.

Companies that want to go a bit further than a free app can benefit from the features MagicJack offers. With a subscription to the basic VoIP service, calls are sent over the Internet instead of carriers. By adopting the MagicApp as well, users can get free domestic calls and cheap ones internationally.

Telecom industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in telecommunications equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.