Business week has come up with an article about Mobile VoIP and some of the players that are ruling the roost in this arena. What this mean is that Mobile VoIP is gaining momentum and mainstream is recognizing the potential in this technology. From a technology standpoint, this has been there for a long time. What wasn’t available was a good wireless data network bandwidth to carry voice packets. Earlier it was GPRS and with the evolution of EDGE, HSDPA, 3G, CDMA rev-a, data bandwidth has gained a big boost. I guess what matters to the users trying out these mobile apps is the QOS and with the right bandwidth, you can get a very good voice quality. Check out my earlier article on different Mobile VoIP calling options
Business week sites how users could save lot of money using applications like Gorilla Mobile that relies on Internet-based technology. Some of the applications like truphone, fring, mig33 support free calling if both the originator and the recipient have their clients installed. Basically this bypasses operator’s circuit switch network completely. ( Truphone as a MVNO 2.0 ) Off course this is worrisome to the operator. For those consumers who make lot of international calls and national calls with limited voice calling plans, Mobile VoIP is a blessing and big time money saver. What this means is- u could just get a unlimited data plan and basic voice plan and use one of these clients to make voice calls.
Acoording to the article:
Wireless carriers are expected to generate $700.7 billion in sales of voice services this year, according to consulting firm Ovum. Still, carriers in the fiercely competitive mobile-phone industry will be none too pleased with newcomers snapping up a portion of the almost one-quarter of all wireless minutes now devoted to long-distance and international calls. Insight Research estimates that together, international and long distance will make up 24% of the 1.2 billion wireless minutes used this year.
From a business standpoint, Telco operators are not gone sit and watch some third-party apps use their wireless data network and eat away their voice revenue, which is already taking a beating. I have mentioned this earlier many a times in my earlier articles about why operators would do anything to block Mobile VoIP calls. The recent dogfight between truphone and T-Mobile, Nokia dropping VoIP capability and Apple no iPhone SDK support for VoIP calls over wireless data network clearly proves the point. T-Mobile supports WIFI based calling via their own hotspots, caveat is, u need to pay $10 dollars for additional calling plan. Another point to mention here is that with unlimited voice calling minutes becoming cheaper day by day, using these apps makes more sense when u make more international calls. Also, Mobile VoIP would make perfect sense for corporate users who make lot of voice calls. We have seen lot of innovation in this arena FMC, UC, Femtocel. Not sure if any of these technology made big headways.
End of the day, all these apps are at the mercy of Operators. They have the potential to block any app that threatens their revenue.