Trend: VoIP to Continue Explosive Growth

By John Brandon

The wireless networking world continues to expand and evolve. As it does, so will the ancillary technologies that depend on hotspots and ubiquitous coverage. Such is the case for voice over IP (VoIP), the Internet phone phenomenon that will become the buzzword for 2005. Already, companies such as Linksys and Netgear are prepping for a momentous reception from gadget hounds, home networking enthusiasts, and early adopters. Yet, there are clear indications that VoIP will reach the public consciousness as well.

For starters, Wi-Fi has become much more common at city parks, backyard barbeques, college campuses, basketball arenas, and just about everywhere in between. In some areas, there’s nowhere you can’t get wireless access. Second, broadband access is now in one out of every four homes, which means they enjoy a consistent, reliable, and high-quality Internet connection. Third, while cell phones are highly portable, calling plans during peak hours still run high, while VoIP service costs only about $20 per month.

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