Social Networking to Push Mobile VOIP Users to 139 Million by 2014: Report

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

Mobile VOIP is gaining market presence with usage rates climbing rapidly, an In-Stat report finds.

The next several years are expected to be transformational as mobile operators and other associated players figure out how to respond to a forecast of nearly 139 million mobile VoIP users by 2014, according to a report from IT research firm In-Stat. Nearly five years since mobile VOIP services were first introduced, it is on the cusp of moving beyond just an inexpensive alternative for making international calls to becoming an integrated component of unified social networking services, the company’s research concluded.

Research findings suggest mobile operators will gradually remove barriers to mobile VoIP usage, however, will remain guarded in how these services are introduced. In-Stat’s consumer survey showed that T-Mobile subscribers had the greatest incidence of mobile VoIP usage, nearly twice that of total respondents. Total 2014 revenues will be split between the EMEA (39 percent), Asia/Pacific (32 percent), North America (21 percent), and the rest of the world (8 percent). The report noted because mobile VoIP is portable, users can bring the benefits of VoIP with them when traveling abroad and avoid the expensive roaming fees that mobile operators charge.

"Mobile VoIP is gaining real market presence with usage rates climbing rapidly," said Amy Cravens, market analyst for In-Stat. "As it becomes further incorporated into other mobile apps, specifically social networking apps, the realm of potential use is expected to broaden. This has created a great deal of jockeying among mobile VoIP players trying to develop market share and mobile operators trying to determine the best response to this potentially disruptive service offering."

The report, Mobile VoIP: Social Networking Integrates IP Voice, explores the emerging market for mobile VoIP offerings, covering forecasts of worldwide mobile VoIP subscribers, usage, and revenues segmented by region and associated provider and discussion of the broad spectrum of mobile VoIP industry participants including start-ups, online VoIP providers, mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) and mobile virtual network enablers (MVNE), and the mobile carriers themselves.

In-Stat’s research also covers the breadth of mobile VoIP solutions and analysis of key providers, including Google, Skype, T-Mobile, Telefonica, Verizon Wireless, and Vonage, elements impeding and promoting the adoption of mobile VoIP and a discussion of underlying markets including smartphone adoption and 3G/4G services.

The research is part of In-Stat’s Mobile Applications & Services service which, provides analysis and forecasts of the markets for mobile applications and content, including consumer perspectives, usage models, competitive business models, mobile applications and operating systems (OS).