If you are Nimbuzz, Truphone, Skype or one of the many other Mobile VoIP companies, here is some good news: A UK-based research group says the total number of mobile VoIP minutes will jump from 15 billion in 2010 to 470.6 billion by 2015, thanks to the proliferation of 3G and 4G networks. Juniper Research says the biggest boost will come from the U.S., which will account for 135 billion mobile VoIP minutes by 2015. Juniper recently forecasted that there will be 100 million mobile VoIP users by 2012.
“There are several flavours of mobile VoIP,” says Anthony Cox, Senior Analyst at Juniper Research, noting that operators fear losing traffic to Wi-Fi networks most: “Wi-Fi mobile VoIP is potentially the most damaging of all VoIP traffic, as it bypasses the mobile networks altogether,” he says. “We forecast that mobile VoIP over Wi-Fi will cost operators $5 billion globally by 2015.”
While the traffic minutes are going to grow, it is still difficult to see how much money these mobile upstarts will be able to make. In my opinion, the likely winner of the mobile VoIP sweepstakes is going to be Skype, mostly because it has the biggest network, which allows the service to offer easy in-network calling. As for the rest of them, well, maybe the carriers who hate them so much will end up buying them.
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