As VoIP continues to grow in every part of the worldwide telecommunications networks, the end of traditional phone services is insight. Presently, telecom providers maintain legacy voice networks while continually expanding IP networks. The central office switches used to support these old voice networks date back to the 1970s. These systems are costly to maintain, and the knowledge base is shrinking. While many businesses are moving to VoIP services, it will eventually become mandatory. Some European telcos aim to switch off the legacy systems over the next few years. Globally, the target switch-off is by 2030.
The phasing out of the legacy equipment is a significant endeavour. As well, the communications industry is highly regulated, requiring providers to prove that their new services respect standards and meet the needs of its clients. IP-based networks were not originally designed to carry voice traffic, whereas traditional phone service was designed specifically for that purpose. IP network communications are divided into data packets that are sent across the network. These networks can suffer from packet loss and jitter that may affect voice quality. While service providers are keenly aware of this issue, it has not yet been 100% resolved but has improved immensely in recent years and with ever-improving networks, equipment and testing tools and will only become perfected in the years to come.