Heavy Reading

Disruptive VoIP Services: What Carriers Need to Know

Voice over IP (VoIP) is the most potentially disruptive telephony technology since the birth of the industry, changing every aspect of making and delivering phone calls. Many traditional telecom carriers today transport all of their long-distance voice traffic over IP connections. Some companies deliver phone calls over the Internet for free. Others offer residential or business voice services that function like traditional phone services, but just happen to travel over the Internet. An increasing number of hosted VoIP services are making premises-based phone systems unnecessary for smaller businesses. IP phone systems have become the norm in enterprises.

Such developments have already made VoIP a mainstream communication technology. But while there have been some truly radical advances, VoIP services in what we may consider the first phase of VoIP innovation have largely emulated traditional phone service. As a result, VoIP's disruption of the traditional telecom services business has to date been far less dramatic than many expected.

That first phase has ended, and a more dynamic second phase is now underway. The last few years have seen the development of new kinds of VoIP services with great potential to disrupt the telecom market. In this phase, innovators are attempting more deliberately to undermine the technical and commercial models of traditional telephony.

The changes wrought by VoIP technology transform the dynamics of the market in ways that provide a significant opportunity to lessen incumbents' commercial dominance. These changes include:

Decentralization or virtualization of application delivery. Because applications and services can serve users from anywhere, there is no need to have nationwide or global infrastructure to be a nationwide or global provider. This drastically lowers the cost of entry into the telecom services market.
Democratization of application development and delivery. The fact that developers and providers no longer have to buy, or gain access to, switching platforms costing millions of dollars opens the telephony business to a far broader range of potential providers.
Hybridization and integration of applications and services, allowing developers to make voice one part of larger and more complex services, rather than a standalone service.
Enrichment of applications and services. Because IP connections can deliver various types of data along with the basic voice packets, providers can offer rich services that incorporate everything from universal presence detection to HD voice to integrated video.

However, the extent to which innovative new VoIP services will actually disrupt the telephony market remains far from certain. Incumbent providers still have substantial means to resist such disruption in part by turning technological innovations to their own advantage.

Disruptive VoIP Services: What Carriers Need to Know first clarifies how the concept of disruption applies to the impact of VoIP innovation on the telecom services market. It catalogs the advances that VoIP brings to traditional telephony models, practices, and concepts, then categorizes the innovative VoIP services with the most disruptive potential. It also identifies the economic and commercial forces that will influence the impact of VoIP innovation and projects a number of specific results that this combination of factors will produce.


The report also provides concise profiles of 50 innovative VoIP services and companies that are likely to significantly contribute to the market disruption. For a full list of VoIP providers analyzed in this report, click here.

The radical changes that VoIP technology brings will force any providers that want to keep up with the pace of innovation to rethink some of the most basic concepts of telephony, as shown in the excerpt below.

[click on the image below for the full excerpt]

[click on the image above for the full excerpt]

Report Scope and Structure

Disruptive VoIP Services: What Carriers Need to Know is structured as follows:

Section I is an introduction to the report, with complete report key findings.

Section II defines the process by which VoIP innovation disrupts the telecom services market, and describes the various technical, commercial, and theoretical factors that underlie this ability to disrupt.

Section III presents 17 types of potentially disruptive VoIP services, describes the sometimes conflicting impact the different types will have on traditional providers and the market in general, and provides examples of each type.

Section IV identifies several broader economic forces that will alter the impact of VoIP innovation on the market, analyzes the changes and trends that this combination of economic and innovative forces will ultimately produce, and predicts the strategies that VoIP innovators and established providers will use to respond to these changes.

Section V provides concise descriptions of 50 companies and services with early-stage or advanced potential to significantly disrupt the telecom services market.

The report is essential reading for a wide range of industry participants, including the following:

Telecom service providers: How will new developments in VoIP technologies and services affect your services, pricing, and ability to compete? Which types of emerging VoIP services have the greatest potential to disrupt your business over the next three to five years? What strategies can your company employ to mitigate or otherwise alter the disruptive effect of VoIP innovation or turn it to your advantage?
Telecom equipment manufacturers: How do the changes in the telecom services business brought on by VoIP technology change requirements for your core products? Does your technology strategy account for the development and arrival of disruptive services? Is your current product portfolio in line with the projected needs of service providers?
Investors: Which companies are best positioned to benefit from the disruptive potential of VoIP technology? What impact will broader economic forces have on the rapidly evolving telecom services market? Which innovative startups are likely to be acquired by larger players, and which are poised to succeed on their own?

Disruptive VoIP Services: What Carriers Need to Know is published in PDF format.

PRICE: $3,995
Analyst at Large, Heavy Reading
Robert Poe has been covering telecom in Asia and the U.S. for more than 20 years. He was part of the startup team of CommunicationsWeek International...
Click here for a full list of included companies
57 pages of analysis covering the disruptive effect of advanced VoIP services on the telecom industry
A comprehensive taxonomy of emerging disruptive VoIP services, exploring the impact each will have on traditional providers and the market in general
Concise profiles of 50 innovative and potentially disruptive VoIP service providers
In-depth analysis of the impact of economic changes on the telecom market, including the strategies that both incumbents and challengers will likely employ in response
PRICE: $3,995
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