One billion mobile VoIP users by 2017


Operators join rivals in offering OTT services but monetisation still remains a key challenge

There will be over one billion users of over the top (OTT) mobile VoIP services by 2017, reflecting a dramatic shift in how voice traffic is carried over the next five years, according to new research.

A new report has found that  improvements in network technology, increased competition, and the move by telcos to join the OTT space, will all come together to give the mobile internet voice market a second wind, Juniper Research forecasts.

However, as with Skype on the desktop, only a very small proportion will pay for the service, finds the report.

'Many subscriber sign up to an OTT service without ever planning to pay a cent for it, and some industry players do not have a short term revenue model at all,' noted report author, Anthony Cox.

The report notes, however, that key mobile VoIP players are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their service offerings and are developing more ways to monetise their services.

Specialist mobile VoIP companies are opening their API to third parties including mobile network operators to gain revenues, the research showed. Juniper also noted that the arrival of 4G will give further impetus to mobile VoIP take up, but it will potentially accelerate the decline in overall voice revenues. Circuit switched voice revenues will still continue to decline, but at the end of the forecast period will represent a substantial proportion of mobile network operators' revenues.

While despite market challenges, mobile video calling market leaders are finally beginning to monetise the mobile video calling sector through advertising and premium services.


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