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130 Million Mobile Video Communication Users by 2016

According to the latest market study by Juniper Research, mobile voice-over-IP (mVoIP) clients downloaded to a smartphone will account for four fifths of 640 million mobile VoIP users by the end of 2016 -- while alliances between carriers and mVoIP specialists will remain relatively few in number.

Improved technology, more intuitive interfaces and increased user awareness all account for the increasing dominance of the app model for mVoIP.

In addition VoIP specialists are broadening their horizons as they explore the potential of alliances with social media, gaming and software companies.

As social media becomes ever more mainstream, Juniper Research anticipates the role of voice within the broader communications market changing and becoming available as an extension of other applications, such as gaming and social networking.

Specialist companies, such as Vivox, are pioneering these new services in the gaming industry, and Skype’s acquisition by Microsoft and several Facebook alliances with VoIP providers will accelerate this trend.

“Eventually voice may become one of several options in an environment where multiple methods of communicating are possible on the same platform,” says Anthony Cox at Juniper Research.

Their market study report notes, however, that circuit-switched technology will continue to be important for the foreseeable future, particularly in less developed markets.

Further findings from the Juniper market study include:
  • The number of mobile video communication users will exceed 130 million by 2016, spurred by the launch of mobile video calling by major players and technology improvements.
  • Mobile VoIP and mobile video calling services will develop significantly faster in developed markets, due to a correlation between 3G and 4G roll outs and the take up of mobile VoIP and mobile video calling.
  • There is, as yet, no clear role for advertising within the mobile VoIP and mobile video calling business model, though this is beginning to come for VoIP on the desktop.

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