Threat to voice revenue growing


Mobile networks will lose a large slice of their traditional voice traffic and revenue to new VoIP players such as Skype, Truphone and fring, Gartner analysts have warned.

The firm’s report, “Emerging Technology Analysis: Mobile VoIP, Global Consumer Communications Services”, claims that VoIP services offered by third-party application-based providers poses a huge and direct challenge to the £458.3 billion global mobile voice market.

However, despite this significant potential, the report says conditions for the rapid uptake of mobile VoIP will not yet be present for between five to eight years.

Gartner research director Tole Hart said: “Mass-scale adoption of end-to-end mobile VoIP calling will not happen until fourth-generation (4G) networks are fully implemented in 2017.

“Once the basic market conditions are in place, transition to mobile portal VoIP should be fairly rapid because of the inherent convenience and end-user cost savings.

“In 10 years’ time we expect that 30 per cent of mobile voice traffic will be carried out through third-party mobile portals, such as Google, Facebook, MySpace and Yahoo, which will adopt wireless VoIP service as a voice option.”

Competing with mobile portal VoIP will be wireless providers that offer VoIP voice and data services, as well as resellers and MVNOs that also offer services off the back of mobile networks.

Gartner says mobile networks should think about partnerships with VoIP providers.