Mobile VoIP is no longer just hype, but has become a credible threat to traditional voice revenues. Considering that it is only a matter of time until Internet protocol becomes the principal transport for various access technologies, an ambitious group of mobile VoIP start-up companies are creating a paradigm shift in the way users communicate with each other, with voice services moving to a true Internet era of Telco 2.0.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan
, Impact of Mobile VoIP on Next Generation Cellular Networks, finds that that at the end of 2008, approximately $605.8 million of mobile VoIP revenues were generated in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. This is expected to grow to $29.57 billion by 2015. The technologies covered in this research service are high-speed packet access, third-generation long-term evolution, global system of mobile communications, IP multimedia subsystem, HSPA+, general packet radio service, VoIP and SIP.
Significant traction in the application space, primarily driven by the success of the iPhone, has resulted in several smartphone vendors making provisions in their applications stores for users to download and use third-party VoIP clients over both WiFi and cellular broadband networks.
However, many cellular operators have prohibited the use of mobile VoIP over their cellular networks, with some imposing a surcharge to avoid cannibalisation of their circuit-switched voice revenue streams. Moreover, cellular operators face intense competition from the more popular Web-based VoIP alternatives that are permeating the mass market.
Mobile operators should eventually do away with imposing bans or surcharges to their mobile broadband packages to support mobile VoIP, as the client devices supporting HSPA+ and LTE will be based on open platforms and support SIP for third-party applications.