Welcome to 2015, and to part two of our annual predictions for Unified Communications in the coming year. In part one of our predictions, we talked about continued growth for IP Telephony and UC endpoints, softphones, VoLTE, and progress on replacing the PSTN with VoIP. Today, we’ll cover video, WebRTC’s likely advances and roadblocks, some roadblocks Skype for Business could face, the saga of net neutrality, and the issue of voice over Wi-Fi as a substitute for legacy carrier voice services.
Late last year, President Obama proposed that the FCC regulate broadband services under Title II service of the 1934 Telecommunications Act. While Obama has made his wishes known, it is the FCC that must decide whether or not to classify Internet services under Title II. If the FCC does decide to reclassify, then the decision to head back to the U.S. Supreme Court for a ruling on the legitimacy of the reclassification. We are not optimistic that the U.S. Congress will be able to come up with a legislative solution.
Microsoft’s decision to rebrand Lync as “Skype for Business” in 2015 may turn out to be fine with premise-based UC solution providers, but we expect to see some foot-dragging or even some downright fighting this year by cloud-based UC providers against making this transition. By making Lync a service that already counts 300 million voice subscribers, carriers will have plenty of reason to counter Microsoft’s strategy.