There will be over one billion users of over-the-top (OTT) mobile voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services by 2017, reflecting a major transition in the progression of voice traffic, according to a new report by analyst firm, Juniper Research.
As outlined in the Mobile and Tablet Voice and Video Calling: Strategic Opportunities and Business models 2012-2017 report, this is a result of improvements in network technology, and will be further perpetuated by increased competition and the move by telecommunications providers to join the OTT space, giving the mobile 'Internet voice' market pace in growth.
As report author, Anthony Cox, points out, only a minute portion will pay for the services.
"Many subscribers sign up to an OTT service without ever planning to pay a cent for it, and some industry players do not have a short-term revenue model at all," he said.
At the same time, though, mobile VoIP players are becoming more sophisticated in their service offerings, and are developing more ways to monetise their services.
The report also notes that specialist mobile VoIP companies are opening their application programming interfaces to third parties, including mobile networking operators (MNOs), to gain revenues.
In addition, the arrival and development of 4G/LTE will give further impetus to mobile VoIP take-up but potentially accelerate the decline in over voice revenues. Circuit switched voice revenues will still continue to decline.
Cox said that, despite market challenges, mobile video calling market leaders are beginning to monetise the mobile video calling sector through advertising and premium services.
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