Business VoIP Featured Article

Global OTT Mobile VoIP Subscribers to Reach One Billion in 2013

July 16, 2013

By Rajani Baburajan, Business VoIP Contributor

A recent study from Infonetics Research finds the number of global OTT mobile VoIP subscribers jumped more than 550 percent in 2012 to more than 640 million. The number is expected to reach the one billion mark in 2013.

Mobile VoIP is one of the key drivers of business VoIP market. The report finds that Microsoft/Skype had roughly 40 percent of all active users of OTT mobile VoIP services in 2012.

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is another technology that is gaining momentum. According to Infonetics, the number of VoLTE subscribers is forecasted to grow at a 145 percent CAGR from 2012 to 2017. Combined, over-the-top mobile VoIP and VoLTE services are expected to become a $16 billion business by 2017.

The best example to demonstrate the success of VoLTE is the rise in number of SK Telecom’s subscriptions. The company had 3.6 million subscribers in April 2013.

Nearly 12 commercial VoLTE networks and eight million VoLTE subscribers are now expected by year-end, with about three-quarters of those in Asia Pacific, according to the report.

However, the study finds that most OTT mVoIP providers are making very little money per user. In 2012, the average revenue per user was only $7.13 annually.

Many providers find this as an unsustainable business model, so they are turning to advertising, third-party apps and wholesale arrangements with traditional operators, Infonetics Research said.

Earlier this year, Juniper Research released a similar report that said there will be more than one billion users of OTT mobile VoIP services by 2017, reflecting a dramatic shift in how voice traffic is carried over the next five years.

The report further said leading mobile VoIP providers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their service offerings and are developing more ways to monetize their services.

Juniper Research report said the arrival of 4G will give further impetus to mobile VoIP take-up but potentially accelerate the decline in overall voice revenues. Despite market challenges, mobile video calling market leaders are finally beginning to monetize the mobile video calling sector through advertising and premium services.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey



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