Landline faces extinction as web calling features transform video communication
Landlines may soon face its demise as innovation in communication have produced advanced smartphones and the emergence of online messaging systems. Online communication company, Skype, which has transformed not only online messaging but video and voice calling over the net, is taking development a notch higher again—further threatening to lessen the demand for landlines.
Microsoft announced four new updates on its Skype for Web and three on its Skype for Business services, according to its company blog. The company introduced the web version of Skype which let users access their Skype conversations from any computer in 2015.
With its enhanced Skype for Web version, users are able to make international calls to any mobile phone or landline through Skype Credit or subscription. This added feature enables users to make landline and cellphone calls directly through the web version of Skype, without the need to download the app.
Another special feature of the updated Skype for Web version is its ability to add people on Skype even they are not Skype contacts. To let non-Skype users join in the conversation, they simply type the “+ New” and then click on “Share Conversation.” Microsoft has also added notification on its Skype for Web where users receive notifications even when in another app or browser, as long as they are signed into Skype.
Having improved its video functionality, the updated web version also makes watching YouTube videos directly in Skype possible. If someone posts a video link on the conversation window, there is no need to open a new window or tab to play the video with all the YouTube functionalities.
On its Skype for Business service, Microsoft added 17 new countries with available public switched telephone (PSTN) network conferencing bringing the total to 32 countries with available PSTN conferencing. By June, the number of countries with PSTN would reach a hundred, as announced by Skype officials.
PSTN conferencing allows people invited via the Skype for Business to join web conferences in Office 365, a Microsoft developed productivity software.
Aside from its PSTN conferencing, Skype for Business has enabled its broadcast meetings functionality, where up to 10,000 people can attend by using skype through a browser. This functionality is recommended for large virtual meetings and public webinars.
The third web feature is a new Cloud Connector Edition for Skype for Business. This feature allows businesses to receive and make traditional phone calls using Office 365. Interested enterprise can only access this feature on Office 365, thus the need to install the software first.
Mobile connections transform
Video communication, both in mobile and in web, are transforming today’s medium of communication. A research uncovered the societal impact of the telephone at home, in school and in business. Its invention paved way for the communication revolution, which, in turn, led to the development of industries and businesses, creation of jobs, improvement of security in times of need, and it certainly made the world a smaller place.
In the 21st century, landlines slowly faced their demise, as the National Health Interview Survey accounted only about seven percent of adults living in households with a landline phone. The emergence of the internet, wireless communication and mobile devices causes the almost-extinction of the landline telephones. It is not surprising that 44 percent of Americans lived only with wireless telephones and no landlines.
Service innovations and digital transformations open the door for the existence of mobile phones and the internet. The GSMA reveals that the mobile industry continued its growth in 2015 with more than 7.6 billion mobile connections. Internet-connected mobile phones makes it easier to reach people, plan schedules, routines and perform work at home which increases productivity and output, according to Pew Research Center.
Today more than ever, mobile phones are loaded with speed and reliability of internet connection that have become vital factors for economic growth and development. To satisfy people’s constant demand for faster and more reliable connectivity either on mobile connection or internet, connection enhancing devices have been developed such as Wi-Fi routers, signal boosters and the relatively new technology, network extenders such as those from 5BARz International.
However, the evolution of communication does not end there. Video conferencing is slowly replacing face to face transactions such as business meetings, seminars and even simple friendly chats. It brings families closer together and is less expensive than flying to a business meeting on the other side of the planet. It also makes learning more accessible to a wide range of people.