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David Williams
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David Williams
Global Director of Sales, Research
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Mobile VoIP: A Disruptive Service Goes Mainstream
Mobile voice over IP (VoIP), which began as a voice application, is no longer just a cheap telephone call. Increasingly, much of the advantage of VoIP is its ability to integrate with other systems and stimulate further adoption. Many mobile VoIP players are now broadening into other applications and services. They are exploring ways to build communities or social networks on top of a base of active VoIP users by enabling new services such as voice-enhanced IM, voice mashups, and voice plugins for social-networking services. By doing so, they aim to give users a reason to stay inside their applications longer and create more opportunities to make calls and generate much-needed revenues.

However, many incumbent operators continue to block mobile VoIP. There is no compelling reason for them to stop milking their circuit-switched voice cash cow. But mobile VoIP is an unstoppable train due to consumer demand for less-expensive mobile services, enterprise demand for fixed/mobile convergence (FMC), and the transformation of the network to an all-IP architecture. Operators will eventually jump on the mobile VoIP bandwagon if just to gain some experience ahead of all-IP 4G. Many are likely to collaborate or even outright acquire some of the upstarts to put their hands on experience and proven technology.

While standards bodies have created IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) multimedia telephony as an enhanced voice service, they have not developed plain-vanilla VoIP as a mobile-centric application. To gain some pre-Long Term Evolution (LTE) experience of packet voice, operators will be forced toward pre-standard or proprietary approaches, with attendant risks such as limited handset range or poor interoperability. Thus, operators are unlikely to risk rolling out a complex new LTE network and transition their core telephony service to VoIP at the same time.

Recently, several startups have been developing, deploying, and providing mobile VoIP services. While a few of them could succeed in establishing a sustainable mobile VoIP business of their own and spur competition in the market for enhanced voice services, most will need to partner with operators and share their technology to survive, which is a win-win situation for both groups.

Mobile VoIP: A Disruptive Service Goes Mainstream analyzes the nascent market for mobile VoIP applications and services. It examines the technology issues that have confronted mobile VoIP upstarts and the solutions that they have developed to overcome them; it also explores the commercial and technical challenges and opportunities facing startups and incumbent mobile phone operators and handset makers. Finally, this report profiles 12 providers of mobile VoIP applications and services, exploring their strategies for tapping into the young and promising market for IP-enabled voice offerings.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (uni0809_toc.pdf)
New versions of mobile OSs are coming out complete with a built-in VoIP stack, inviting carriers and manufacturers to add VoIP functionality to their devices. Dual- and quad-band cell phones can choose between the strongest network available and place a call accordingly. The following excerpt provides a side-by-side comparison of the next-generation wireless technologies provided by the companies profiled in this report.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies analyzed in this report include: Fringland Ltd.; Hutchison 3G UK Ltd. (3 UK); iSkoot Inc.; Jajah Inc.; Mobilkom Austria AG, a subsidiary of Telekom Austria AG; Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK); Skype Technologies SA, a subsidiary of eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY); Talkonaut, a trademark of GTalk2VoIP Inc.; TringMe LLC; Truphone, a trademark of Software Cellular Network Ltd.; Vyke Communications plc; and Yuuguu Ltd.
Total pages: 25
To view reports you will need Adobe's Acrobat Reader. If you do not have it, it can be obtained for free at the Adobe web site.
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