Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mobile VoIP, heartburn to Telco Operator

According to Gartner, More Than 50 Percent of Mobile Voice Traffic Will Be Carried Using End-to-End VoIP by 2019. This poses a huge and direct challenge to the $692.6 billion global mobile voice market. I’m sure the operators would fight tooth and nail to block those applications that use end-to-end IP network for voice calls. Even the mobile application developer platforms provided by handset vendors disable any mobile VoIP access for third party developers, except for the WIFI. Earlier, it was the turn of iPhone and now today Microsoft announced that Mobile VoIP applications is a big NO NO.

I’m not surprised by this move. I had talked about this earlier. There are so many applications out there that want to use operators IP network to run voice apps. Third-Party applications like Skype, Truphone, Mig33, fring, nimbuzz etc all carry VoIP traffic using the mobile phone. These applications are very attractive to consumers and definitely a headache to the operators.

Here are some of the highlights of the Gartner report:
• Predicts that over time traditional network-based mobile carriers face the real prospect of losing a major slice of their voice traffic and revenue to new non-infrastructure players that use VoIP.
• despite this significant potential, conditions for the rapid expansion in the use of mobile VoIP are not yet right and are not likely to become right for at least five years and perhaps as long as eight years.
• Mass-scale adoption of end-to-end mobile VoIP calling will not happen until fourth-generation (4G) networks are fully implemented in 2017
• In 10 years time we expect that 30 percent of mobile voice traffic will be carried out through third-party mobile portals, such as Google, Facebook, MySpace and Yahoo, which will adopt wireless VoIP service as a voice option to their current communications hub.”
• Competing with mobile portal VoIP will be wireless carriers that offer circuit and VoIP voice and data services, and resellers and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) that also offer services off the carrier networks.
• Biggest competitors to mobile VoIP may be text messaging and e-mail, as people may prefer to use these types of communication because of their non-intrusive, less emotional and less time-consuming nature.

For more information, check out the report available on Gartner’s Web site

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