Will voice calls become obsolete?

The past couple of decades have seen more inventions than any age. Speed of development is constantly accelerating, as innovations and ideas build on each other. But this also means we abandon more technology more quickly. As the newest thing is unveiled, it often replaces what came before. Devices and techniques fall to the wayside. With the plethora of communication technology available, will voice calls become obsolete?

Is there cause for concern that voice calls will become obsolete?

Communications technology and fashion – more connected than you think

We all remember the tremendous boom of the Blackberry. In the noughties, it followed flip phones and spy-esque miniature laptops like the LG Vx9900 which fuelled the trend for QWERTY keyboards and helped secure Blackberry’s place as the *it* phone. Celebrities were constantly spotted with them. Even the President of the most powerful country in the world, Barack Obama, publically pledged his allegiance to Blackberry.

Yet public opinion soon did a 180. Far from full QWERTY keyboards, we suddenly wanted to do away with keyboards altogether. Apple and its ubiquitous iPhone was rising to dominance. And so, Blackberries found new homes in desk drawers to gather dust. Like last year’s Christmas presents, they were soon forgotten about.

Suddenly, your BBM PIN was no longer a passport to social inclusion. Blackberry technology and its attendant communication channels quickly became useless. It’s understandable, then, that as ever more IM apps pop up and initiating a video call is as easy as phoning someone, people might see the humble telephone call dying out. Blackberry paints a stark picture. A change in the tide of public opinion would mean voice calls become obsolete.

Could a whole method of communication, like voice calls, become obsolete?

Admittedly, a company is one thing. It’s not newsworthy that brands fall in and out of favour. The case of Blackberry v iPhone is perhaps more about the means than the end. After all, it’s not that we suddenly didn’t want a mobile. It’s just which mobile. But broadly, we were using our iPhones for similar purposes. It was a way to phone, text, e-mail, IM, listen to music and browse the Internet from one pocket-sized device.

There’s no doubt Apple has changed the way we communicate. But could technological development ever mean something as universal and useful as voice calls become obsolete?

There’s definitely a precedent for popular communications channels losing popularity and utility to the point of extinction. There’s the device-specific example of BBM. But there are much broader instances, too. When is the last time you sent a fax? Will any of the younger generation ever make a mixtape – a literal tape – for the object of their affections? Will they pop a VHS in the post to share their wedding day with distant relatives? It’s likelier that somebody will copy Diplo’s infamous idea and livestream the wedding on social media…

Why voice calls will survive

An irreplaceable technology

New technology usurped faxing and VHS. The ability to scan and email documents and video record every moment with increasing ease meant their purpose was being filled. Innovations appeared which achieved the same results more conveniently. Understandably, these became preferred.

But how could we replace voice calls? Yes, our preferred devices might evolve. We’re no longer tethered by wires to the home phone. We don’t even need wireless landlines to roam freely while we chat. But as human beings, we still have to talk.

The fact is, there are situations that need the spoken word. There’s so much thought and wisdom surrounding communication, and all of it emphasises the importance of openness and clarity.

In a professional setting, there are ideas that simply can’t be conveyed over email. True collaboration needs more immediate reciprocity. One person putting all their ideas down in writing and another responding is not the same as them engaging in lively conversation, building on thoughts as they come, asking questions that pop up.

It’s not just internal communication. There are plenty of situations when customers want to really talk through a concern or issue. Given the importance of customer service, simply offering a Live Chat function isn’t going to cut it.

Voice calls won’t become obsolete because they’re so accessible

One thing that guards against voice calls becoming obsolete is the fact that they require such simple, commonplace technology. All you need is a phone! There are few people in the UK who can’t access some type of telephone. That makes phone calls easy for both initiator and recipient.

Even taking a step up to multi-participant calls, the technology remains simple. While Giff-Gaff users have run into some issues placing 3-way calls, even they can find a way! In fact, anyone can set up a conference call by simply clicking the button below. Crucially, with WHYPAY?, you can get genuinely free conference calling.

Create a FREE Teleconference

It’s not just the easy set-up which makes teleconferencing so accessible. You can do it from anywhere. We mean that both geographically and in terms of your device of choice. The conference rooms are accessed by dialing a standard 03 number. That means you can teleconference from a mobile, a smartphone, a landline, a phone booth… And of course, if you’re an avid conference caller, you might even go for a conference call phone. As it’s so easy for anybody to use phone calls, even conference calls, it seems unlikely for voice calls to become obsolete.

Voice calls have become a customisable communication channel

Another factor which casts doubt on the likelihood that voice calls become obsolete is their adaptability. It’s a simple idea and a simple technology, but it can be customised and enhanced with added features.

We’ve given the example of adjusting the number of participants in your call. Beyond that, there’s lots to play with. You can even customise your own conference call dial-in number! And there’s the conference greeting. If personalising is your thing, there are loads of adjustable features on WHYPAY?’s Pro plan. With different packages and features, why would a powerful tool like voice calls become obsolete?

Apart from changing the settings and add-ons of the call, the technology itself is super flexible. Not only can you call from anywhere, but else whenever. Thanks to reservationless conference calling, you can foster spontaneity and support unexpected crises. If you are a planner, you can easily schedule calls in your calendar software.

With the environmental crisis, how could we let voice calls become obsolete?

Events like the Extinction Rebellion make it undeniable. We’re in the grip of an environmental crisis, and the public wants action. That makes phone calls an invaluable technology.

More often than some think, you can replace meetings with teleconferences. What does that have to do with the environment? It’s simple. All those attending suddenly don’t have carbon-emitting commutes. That’s why conference calling is great for the environment.

If you want to show your commitment to protecting the planet and reduce your business’s carbon footprint, look to teleconferences.


Long live the voice call

It looks like calls are here to stay. Instead of being replaced with new technology, they take it in their stride. Telecommunications have adopted new ideas and adapted to new demands. The result is a powerful communication tool, suitable in all walks of life and adaptable to each person’s needs. As long as humans need to communicate, we doubt voice calls will become obsolete.

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