VoIP: Market Development Impacts on MNOs
2009.12.31   |   39 pages   |   Churn Prevention Strategies   |   Maximising Prepay Cellular Profit


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VoIP may be the single biggest threat to traditional MNO revenues. The effects of competition and regulatory pressure on the prices that can be charged for mobile voice calls, roaming and termination are minor in comparison with the potential threat of mobile users completely bypassing their service provider's metered calls and associated billing systems by shifting their voice communications activities to IP-based services accessed through flat-rate data plans.

Reactions to the threat have varied widely, with many MNOs seeking to discourage the majority of their base from making use of VoIP facilities through specific exclusions in contract and fair use terms and conditions. Others have taken a more positive stance with regard to VoIP with 3 in the UK, in particular, going as far as promoting a relationship with customers where they need never pay for a call again.

The future viability of MNOs as they exist today depends to some extent on how successfully they are able to balance the need for income with the potential disruptive changes brought about by new communications models enabled by VoIP. This report examines the market development of VoIP, from a technological curiosity of interest to a small minority to a mainstream platform for Global communications and analyses how MNOs can best incorporate the emerging new reality into their business approach.


Keywords: VoIP, Google Talk, Skype, net neutrality, blocking, fring,

1 Overview 1
2 Introduction 2
2.1 Background to the Report 2
2.2 Report Content 3
2.3 Currency and Conversions 3
3 The VoIP Market 4
3.1 Introduction & Definition 4
3.2 The Fixed Network VoIP Market 4
3.3 Mobile VoIP Market Development 7
4 Mobile VoIP Players 10
4.1 Introduction 10
4.2 Primary VoIP Providers 10
4.2.1 Skype 10 Business Background 10 Skype for iPhone & Windows Mobile 11 Skype Lite for Other Mobile Devices 13 Skype To Go 14 Skype on 3's UK Network 15
4.2.2 Google 17 Business Background 17 Google Talk 18 Google Voice 19 Gizmo5 20
4.2.3 Other Primary VoIP Providers 22
4.3 VoIP Consolidators 24
4.3.1 fring 24 Business Background 24 fring Mobile VoIP Proposition 25
4.3.2 Other VoIP Consolidators 27
5 MNO Reactions to VoIP 30
5.1 Introduction 30
5.2 VoIP Blocking to VoIP Priority 30
5.2.1 AT&T and the FCC 30
5.2.2 T-Mobile UK 31
5.2.3 Mobilkom Austria (A1) 32
5.2.4 Telefonica and JAJAH 33
5.2.5 3 UK, Windows Live Messenger and Skype 33
6 Conclusions & Recommendations 36
6.1 Conclusions 36
6.2 Recommendations 37

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