I see it all around me. Voice services are experiencing a resurgence. People are increasingly ditching their keyboards and touch pads for simpler and more natural voice interactions. More satisfying voice services will result from the combinations of 5G, Cloud and AI technologies.
Why? Because the adoption of 5G will provide massive quality-of-service (QoS) upgrades, including lower latencies, higher speeds, superior network availability, and improved reliability. These advantages will eliminate congestion-driven voice problems that have plagued us such as stuttering, skipping, and dropped calls.
For example, 5G will allow CSPs to provide a dedicated, ultra-reliable, low-latency communication (URLLC) 5G network slice for voice communications that will solve common voice quality and latency issues. It will also accelerate the evolution from 3G to voice over LTE (VoLTE), which is a necessary step as CSPs pursue different migration paths to full 5G Voice over New Radio capabilities.
As I had written in my previous blog, slicing will enable network operators to partition their networks and offer tailored services to meet different business needs for enterprise customers.
I am also excited about new 5G codec technology that supports multiple audio channels, immersive audio, and virtual reality communications use cases. It will enable new 5G voice services whereby people communicating with each other can be immersed in each other’s environments, such as chatting and watching videos together in a seamless manner.
At the same time, Cloud-based communications are growing rapidly. Forbes predicts that by 2020, 83 percent of all business processes will be managed using cloud technology and voice is no exception. Already, many of our enterprise customers are engaging their service providers for cloud-based unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) that will benefit from 5G’s improved QoS and secure real-time communication via a cloud-native session border control. These services include voice, video, and Rich Communications Services (RCS) that provide significant cost savings, improved employee productivity and collaboration, and the ability to deliver personalized customer experiences to users.
I also see consumer communications preferences shifting as they look for natural, faster, and more personalized voice engagements via talk, live chat, social media, and other channels. This opens up an opportunity for CSPs to provide rich and interactive voice services as part of integrated communications offers.
While voice has been a primary means of person-to-person communications, it is now taking over person-to-machine communications. It will transform customer digital experiences as AI-infused personal voice assistants, chatbots, and voice-controlled interfaces are used to search the Internet, buy services, support real-time translations, and interact with any device. CSPs can infuse their digital customer experience platforms with these capabilities as well as offer AI-based voice services as part of an Internet of Things (IoT) strategy.