Is Mobile VoIP Taking Over?

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: September 20, 2011

Is Mobile VoIP Taking Over?

Mobile VoIP is a popular technology that allows people to use their mobile phones to make and receive phone calls over the internet. It tends to be much cheaper than standard phone service, and provides access to many useful features that normally cost extra. This had led many people to wonder if mobile VoIP is taking over the phone market.

Many of the large phone companies seem to think so. AT&T is now pushing VoIP on feature phones and smart phones. Verizon Wireless has also formed a partnership with Skype to integrate the voice technology into many different smart phones and a wide range of headsets.

Apple mobile devices are particularly well adapted for mobile VoIP. They have access to Cloud Net, a business-oriented VoIP service that includes a hosted switchboard and competitive call rates. iPhones and iPads can download the application for a small fee and use it to make phone calls.

TringMe, the first VoIP application designed for Blackberry devices, has also reported high subscriber numbers for mobile VoIP. The company expects to have 100 million mobile VoIP users by the end of 2012, and to be responsible for approximately 471 billion IP-based phone calls by 2015.

Do the industry analysts agree with those numbers? All indications seem to be yes.

Scott Klimo, a Bennelong SGI portfolio manager, released a research paper in 2010 that indicated Long Term Evolution networks are going to provide more than enough bandwidth to support a vast number of phone calls over the internet. If this is the case, then VoIP will be poised to take over the traditional cellular market.

Frost and Sullivan released an industry report on mobile VoIP the same year. It stated that mobile VoIP had a fiscal revenue of $605.8 million in 2008 within North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. That number was already large, but is expected to grow all the way to $29.57 billion for 2015. That’s nearly fifty times the fiscal revenue in just seven years.

Saverio Romeo, a Senior Industry Analyst at Frost and Sullivan, spoke about this upward trend. He stated, “The emergence of flat rate mobile data pricing, positive growth of smart phone shipments, and high speed-mobile broadband availability has spurred the adoption rate of mobile VoIP. Mobile operators realize they can no longer ignore the fact that mobile will be a key component of integrated IP-based communications and next generation wireless technologies such as HSPA+ and LTE.”

If mobile VoIP isn’t taking over, it’s at least gained a great deal of prominence. The service is now a realistic competitor to traditional phone systems, and more and more businesses are using it as the primary transport for voice access technologies.

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