There will be 288 million users of Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) by 2013, according to market research firm In-Stat. While so far, VoIP has been driven largely by the likes of cable companies that want to disrupt the incumbent phone companies, the next big VoIP boost is going to come from mobile.
In-Stat believes over half of those 288 million subscribers “will be associated with online mobile VoIP providers, under one-third will utilize mobile VoIP with 3G MVNOs or mobile operators, and 11 % with WiMAX/LTE operators.” Thanks to the increased availability of dual-mode phones, VoIP is becoming especially popular in the Asia-Pacific region, nudging the current market leader, Europe, aside. In the meantime, this move to mobile VoIP has prompted some to ask if we’re getting closer to an all-VoIP phone. I think so!
The carriers themselves are reluctantly embracing mobile VoIP, as we’ve previously noted. Today, Truphone teamed up with Australian mobile network operator Optus, for its Truphone Local Anywhere service. These kind of deals are going to become increasingly commonplace, taking annual sales of mobile VoIP applications to $35.2 billion by 2013, according to In-Stat. I wonder how that number would change if you included Skype.
Despite the big numbers, I bet making money isn’t going to be easy for mobile VoIP providers.
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