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Summary:

There will be 288 million users of Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) by 2013, says market research firm, In-Stat. Indeed, while so far, VoIP has been driven largely by the likes of cable companies, the next big VoIP boost is going to come from mobile.

There will be 288 million users of Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) by 2013, according to market research firm In-Stat. While so far, VoIP has been driven largely by the likes of cable companies that want to disrupt the incumbent phone companies, the next big VoIP boost is going to come from mobile.

In-Stat believes over half of those 288 million subscribers “will be associated with online mobile VoIP providers, under one-third will utilize mobile VoIP with 3G MVNOs or mobile operators, and 11 % with WiMAX/LTE operators.” Thanks to the increased availability of dual-mode phones, VoIP is becoming especially popular in the Asia-Pacific region, nudging the current market leader, Europe, aside. In the meantime, this move to mobile VoIP has prompted some to ask if we’re getting closer to an all-VoIP phone. I think so!

The carriers themselves are reluctantly embracing mobile VoIP, as we’ve previously noted. Today, Truphone teamed up with Australian mobile network operator Optus, for its Truphone Local Anywhere service. These kind of deals are going to become increasingly commonplace, taking annual sales of mobile VoIP applications to $35.2 billion by 2013, according to In-Stat. I wonder how that number would change if you included Skype.

Despite the big numbers, I bet making money isn’t going to be easy for mobile VoIP providers.

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AT&T, Verizon Grudgingly Move Toward Openness

  1. While VoIP over 3G is finally starting to open up, we’re already hearing rumors that AT&T may change up their wireless data plans in what will likely be an effort to head off any reduction in voice revenues as a result of increased VoIP calling. When I first heard about AT&T and Apple opening up the 3G network to VoIP, I wondered how long it would take before these increased data rate rumblings started to surface. Well, it didn’t take long.

    Personally, I’m already running a VoIP app over an Apple iPhone, and it is set up so that it registers with the same service provider as my home VoIP (no additional charge). Works pretty good on 3G, and is great on Wi-Fi.

    Since we have CLEAR WiMAX here in Austin, I’m going to work on a project where I use a 4G USB modem with a Cradlepoint Wi-Fi router and try to do all my calling using VoIP on an iPod Touch. The plan is, to get away from the cellular carriers all together. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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  2. I have a feeling that number will be hit a lot sooner then 2013. The penetration of VOIP on mobile is happening a lot faster then predicted.Monetizing VOIP as mentioned will be the challenge as users expect everything for free.

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  3. Last week the antitrust body in Chile condemned the incumbent, Telefonica from Spain, to pay a 4.5 US million fine for bundling broadband and traditional phone service in an exclusionary way to VoIP providers. Read the news:
    http://www.bnamericas.com/news/telecommunications/Antitrust_tribunal_orders_Telefonica_to_unbundle_broadband_packages
    How much faster would Voip have developed without unfair blocking by the telcos?

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