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.

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