And KPN is the proverbial canary in the coal mine. For operators, the impact of an increased uptake of mobile VoIP and chat (mVoIP/Chat) is potentially devastating. Operators run a very real risk that voice and SMS revenues will dwindle. A study by GSM/Wireless Intelligence estimates global mobile service provider revenues will be $1.1 trillion in 2012. In developed countries such as the US, 70% of those revenues are derived from voice. If mobile VoIP calls can be made for free on top of a $10 per month mobile broadband subscription, mobile operators must either increase the price of mobile broadband or find other potential revenue streams in the web economy.
However, not everything is rosy for mVoIP/Chat vendors. Inhibiting the growth of mVoIP/Chat is the low quality of mVoIP over 3G, bad handover of mVoIP calls between 3G cells, operators that block or price mVoIP/Chat traffic, and the existence of large “barren” areas – outside major cities and inside buildings – where 3G coverage is limited or only 2G or GPRS and EDGE is available.
Long term, mVoIP/Chat is here to stay, although mass-scale adoption of end-to-end mobile VoIP calling will not happen until fourth-generation (4G) networks that are designed for mobile broadband and OTT services are fully implemented.
In this piece, we look at the companies currently making noise in the mobile VoIP/chat space, as well as trends and companies to watch closely as we move into 2012.
Read the rest of this study on the website of The METISfiles