Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mobile VoIP Client Drives Vonage Stock

Vonage, a pioneer in the fixed line VoIP market, recently announced it was developing a downloadable client for the iPhone. Reuters reports the stock is up 35%. (CORRECTION: On Aug 17th, Vonage closed at $0.38, on Aug 27th, it closed at $1.99, it's up more than 500%).

There is growing interest in downloadable VoIP clients for mobile phones. Skype, the undisputed VoIP leader, developed a client for the iPhone which has been downloaded more than 4 million times.

Unfortunately, mobile operators typically have not been able to respond in kind. Therefore, high-value customers are putting these mobile VoIP clients on Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones and bypassing high international calling rates, and/or using the clients to bypass roaming rates when traveling abroad.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

“Mobile VoIP’s an Unstoppable Train”

I read Dan Jones’ Unstrung column this morning and was inspired to click through to the Unstrung Insider report, “Mobile VoIP: A Disruptive Service Goes Mainstream.”

We are hearing more and more about mobile VoIP, and it is becoming increasingly important to operators who realize they need services to compete with over-the-top providers, such as Skype, Google Voice, Truphone and others. Operators can choose to allow subscribers to download VoIP clients, or they can ban them, as AT&T has done with Google Voice, about which many are up in arms. Seemingly, this is not the way to go.

“But mobile VoIP is an unstoppable train due to consumer demand for less-expensive mobile services, enterprise demand for fixed/mobile convergence (FMC), and the transformation of the network to an all-IP architecture,” writes Research Analyst John Blau in the Unstrung Insider. “Operators will eventually jump on the mobile VoIP bandwagon – if just to gain some experience ahead of all-IP 4G.”

Operators must respond to consumer demand for lower cost mobile services. This is a song I’ve been singing for years now. Clearly, there are many approaches to accomplish this, and mobile VoIP is fast rising to the top of the list.

“Mobile VoIP represents a promising and natural step forward in the continued evolution of the industry,” Blau writes. “At the end of the day, neither consumers nor business people want to think about the data services they use. They simply want to reach into their pocket, pull out a device, and have near-instant access to friends and customers via voice and chat, as well as the ability to surf the Internet.”

It’s up to the operators to decide how subscribers will get what they demand.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Wi-Fi in Smartphones Growing

ABI Research’s latest FMC report forecasts handset voice connections for business customers will rise from 6.3 million in 2009 to more than 27 million by 2014. FMC voice connections include Wi-Fi FMC connections as well as cellular FMC connections using picocells and femtocells

As reported by Fierce Wireless, practice director Dan Shey said: "While femtocells have been all the rage, dual-mode cellular/Wi-Fi phones will also increase enterprise FMC voice access."

The report also stated Wi-Fi in smartphones will grow from a 45% attach rate in 2009 to a 90% attach rate in 2014. Business customers are the primary adopters of smartphones and with increased penetration of Wi-Fi smartphones, this change levels the playing field between cellular and Wi-Fi FMC.

A number of analyst firms have issued positive forecasts for the FMC market in recent months, including Infonetics.

The flood of smartphones on the market is enabling business customers to have their pick of exciting devices, features and apps, and there’s still lots of room to grow.

Buy the full report here.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Uncovering the Motorola Morrison

You’ve just got to love the mobile handset diehards who dig through FCC filings to see what the next big thing is going to be. The team over at Cell Phone Signal uncovered the scoop on the Motorola Morrisson, the first Android phone from Motorola. It has both 3G and WiFi, and is expected to be UMA ready for T-Mobile US' @Home service.
Per Cell Phone Signal, here are some specs:
* Tri band WCDMA/ HSDPA/ HSUPA 900/1700/2100
* Quad band GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
* Wi-Fi
* HandsFree Speaker
* Photo and Video Camera
* Video Player
* Stereo Bluetooth
* Music Player
* HTML Browser
* Android OS

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Pull up a chair, Wi-Fi

There’s a place for Wi-Fi at the table. So say mobile operators, who used to believe Wi-Fi was a major threat to their bottom lines, according to a recent article in Fierce Wireless.

“Fast-forward to 2009 and the number of connections on AT&T's 20,000-some domestic hotspots totaled 10.5 million in the first quarter. By next year, In-Stat predicts 20 percent of all WiFi chipsets will reside in mobile phones. And BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has promised to include WiFi in its flagship CDMA BlackBerry starting next year, a move that CCS Insight handset analyst John Jackson describes as "seminal."

CDMA is coming to the Wi-Fi game much later than GSM, but it appears to be jumping in with both feet. Qualcomm is currently embedding 802.11 on chipsets, and the demand, they say, is coming from the operators.

When reviewing the benefits of Wi-Fi, well that’s where offload becomes a key consideration for operators in that it can help them offload some of the data traffic from the mobile network. In the end, it provides a better user experience.