Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

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

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).