100M Mobile VoIP Users by 2012 = a Fat & Happy Skype

16 Comments

As my readers well know, I’ve long been a champion of mobile VoIP services, from Gizmo to Truphone to Nimbuz to Skype. I’ve used and at some point, liked them all, though lately I’m fixated on Skype, mostly because of how simply it works. I think it will be one of the winners of the mobile VoIP sweepstakes, a market expected to grow to 100 million users by 2012, according to Juniper Research.

According to a report released by the UK firm today titled “Mobile Voice Strategies: mVoIP Opportunities & Business Models,” a large portion of mobile VoIP traffic is going to run over Wi-Fi networks, thus diminishing the circuit switch market. It estimates that by 2015, VoIP traffic over Wi-Fi will account for about $5 billion in revenues.

As mobile VoIP continues to gain momentum, I expect to see phone companies — which have been fighting the mobile VoIP wave tooth and nail — start buying up startups in the space, many of which have built products that go beyond plain-vanilla calling plans. Nimbuzz, Truphone, iSkoot and others are all ripe for acquisition by the likes of major international mobile players. As to potential buyers, I think Vodafone (s vod), T-Mobile and AT&T (s t) will be among the first looking to cash in on the action.

16 Comments

Tal

According to my understanding Skype is partnering on the mobile market and unless they are in a partnership e.g. Verizon they are becoming less relevant.
Instead of being the first at video for Android – Fring was the first yesterday (http://www.fring.com/blog/).
Personally this is very disappointing. I as you OM was betting on them lately very much.

Tal

tom

if mobile VOIP becomes a $5 billion industry than it will certainly not be the VOIP so many were expecting. the way i see it VOIP was supposed get rid of paid telephony and replace it with endpoint applications over a cheap dumb data pipe. it was not supposed to cost any more than what most people pay for an email account today.

Reese

Remember when Skype was going to work over 3G on the iPhone? Those were good times.

Dilip Andrade

As of today, May 29, skype’s new iPhone client delivers on the 3G promise. Now to figure out what they’re talking about when they say “small fee”

Raymond Padilla

Om, on a related note I wanted to see if you’ve heard anything about a proper Skype client for Android (all Android phones, not just Verizon’s). Skype is a pretty big deal for me and it’s one of two apps I desperately want on the Evo 4G I’m playing with. Not having Skype could be a deal breaker for keeping it as my primary phone.

Om Malik

Raymond,

I should find out soon — there is a Skype Lite client I am using on an Android phone and it works well for me but only over WiFi

Dilip andrade

If you aren’t on Verizon, I wouldn’t hold your breathe. Skype doesn’t have a partner in Canada. When I asked about Skype for Android in Canada I was told that they’re working on getting a Canadian partner.

My guess is that they’ll initially only offer a client on a favoured service provider. If they go to other carriers my guess is that for now it’ll stay wifi only.

If they roll out over 3G on the big platforms (iPhone, Android, Blackberry) they’ll crush the market. Having said that, I’m not holding my breath.

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