Research: Mobile VoIP Users to Pass 100 Million by 2012

Mobile VoIP is about to undergo a massive leap in user numbers, according to a recent report from Juniper Research. The study, entitled Mobile Voice strategies: mVoIP Opportunities and Business Models, 2010-2015, finds that mobile VoIP, or mVoIP as the consultancy calls it, will ramp up significantly faster in more developed markets with next-gen wireless coverage, specifically 3G. The report draws a direct correlation between 3G deployments and increasing mobile VoIP use, even though total mobile VoIP traffic could eventually be greater in developing markets, largely due to the calling patterns of migrant workers. All told, Juniper expects the total number of mobile VoIP users to exceed 100 million by 2012, with more than half that number living in North America and Europe.

By 2012, we expect significant uptake of mobile VoIP in its various different flavors, said Anthony Cox, senor analyst at Juniper Research. By that date, mobile VoIP will lb e available over both 3G and Wi-Fi networks. We also anticipate that several more traditional operators will have joined 3UK and Verizon in the U.S. and developed relationships with mobile VoIP players such as Skype.

Mobile VoIP will have an increasing impact on providers’ business revenues and strategies, according to the report. Among its more notable conclusions: Traditional operators may be forced to partner with mobile VoIP players to fully address the mobile VoIP market; circuit-switched voice revenues will continue their long decline over the next five years, although surprisingly, this trend will not accelerate; and most applications that run over mobile VoIP will be carried on Wi-Fi networks as opposed to those of traditional operators. This shift in traffic patterns will mean revenue losses of around $5 billion by 2015 for these providers.

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