Mobile VoIP: It's a Win-Win-Win

Carl Weinschenk

Mobile VoIP is an inevitability. Consumers get the convenience of a dual-purpose handset that works on the cellular network or, via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, connects to the Internet when that makes more sense. The VoIP providers gain, of course, simply by the increased traffic. Strangely, even the cellular carriers win: Voice traffic that is offloaded onto the Internet frees up increasingly scarce spectrum for 3G traffic.


So it's a win-win-win (there may be some other wins in there, but we've made our point). A lot of companies are already in and trying to enter this sector. Indeed, it is confusing because so many startups and companies in related areas are trying to get in on the action before it's too late. One interesting question is the fate of Skype. After all, it became something of a VoIP poster boy when it was bought last year by eBay. Based on reports last week, it is struggling with mobility, apparently because its peer-to-peer architecture makes things tricky.


There was no shortage of mobile VoIP news last week, however: Jajah launched mobility, three mobile services launched in the UK, and a company called iSkoot unveiled a service that links a dual-mode phone to several providers' mobile VoIP services.


Perhaps not every week will be this eventful, but it's clear that mobile VoIP is going to be big. The reason is simple: It suits the needs of many constituencies.


We are at the beginning of the curve. The most interesting battles will be waged at the device and underlying chip level. The most successful mobile products always are those that use the fewest chips. Mobile VoIP is no different. Supporting both VoIP and legacy cellular networking is a big task. The designers that integrate best -- thereby saving space and reducing power drain -- will be the winners.


If you want to figure out where mobile VoIP is going in this confusing environment, don't focus on the service providers. Look at what the chip vendors and handset makers are doing.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Oct 6, 2006 4:55 AM Carl Lyons Carl Lyons  says:
Nice article.Please could you also mention that Truphone launched recently too. We provide true mobile VoIP and have a launch offer your readers might be interested in: to the end of the year, UK users get free calls to 40 countries and US users get free calls across USA/Canada www.truphone.comThanks  Reply
Nov 12, 2006 4:36 AM s.forsythe s.forsythe  says:
 Dear Sir, What can you tell me about CDMA? Is this a good technology for cellular phones? and What about this m-commerce stuff? Tell me what ever you can about CDMA. Thank you S. Forsythe Reply
Mar 20, 2007 6:38 AM vic vic  says:
That's a good point to make. You have to look at the technology being put out and not the providers. THe providers are just trying to reap in the benefits of VoIP technology, which is why so many of the established network and telco companies are all jumping onto the VoIP picture. Reply

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