VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol – service has come a long way since its inception. While using it from home Internet access venues has been comparatively simple, getting it into wider use in mobile markets has been much tougher. But VoIP service providers are finding themselves gaining on many former difficulties, and costs are the both the biggest hurdle they face, and the hurdle on which they've made the most gain.
Many VoIP operators are finding success in what's called cross-border VoIP telephony, which allows them to use other operators' networks and trade call minutes for data traffic. This step allows roaming charges to be removed from the equation. And others are looking to make an impact with routing through a local 087 number, also known as forward function, allowing customers to send calls to roaming employees without having to pay roaming charges. It's been suggested that using such services allowed calls to be made for one third of their standard cost, using call forwarding and local-area SIM cards. Any time two thirds of a cost can be cut without impact in service quality, it's not surprising to see many going for it.
In Europe, meanwhile, even VoIP didn't help businesses save money; while roaming voice charges were as much as five times as their domestic equivalents, data rates were reportedly anywhere from 500 to 1000 times the average. But the recent passing of the Eurotariff initiative in European Union member states resulted in significantly lower data costs, allowing VoIP to once again become a viable alternative to voice traffic.
Some have projected that, over the course of the next few years, 3G data roaming prices will be abolished, with flat-rate data charges in play instead. This will make VoIP an even more attractive alternative. While this particular pricing scheme may or may not actually come to pass, it will provide a clear competitor to mobile calling, and any time a market can get more competition in it, the better off all its customers will be in the end. The stakes are high for VoIP service, and with the kind of savings some have seen, it's no wonder that many more would want to be involved in VoIP calling.