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The Challenges of Mobile VoIP

The mobile industry has largely been considered the stepchild when compared to its wired counterpart. With new technologies striking the wired space first, the mobile industry has typically been a step behind facing similar challenges.
And now as the newest technology – VoIP services – makes its way to the wireless world, the mobile industry is facing a whole new set of challenges. And it’s a mixed blessing, according to RC Wireless. While the technology would allow a more efficient transport method for voice communications, like in the wired world, third-party developers anxious to launch their offerings on mobile networks, the report said.
 
“Ten years from now, more than half of mobile voice traffic will be carried end-to-end using VoIP,” Akshay Sharma, research director at Gartner, told RC Wireless. “Carriers will adopt voice services because of the increased capacity and reduced cost of delivering voice over 4G networks. Third parties will adopt a voice option for their communications hub.”
 
What’s the appeal of mobile VoIP? Reportedly, mobile VoIP can offer up to 120 percent more voice capacity than a circuit-based mobile voice service, the report said. What’s more,  it offers huge potential for unlimited voice calls at rates far less than traditional mobile voice plans, TMCnet reported.
 
While 3G networks can run VoIP services ( think if the Skype’s application), carriers have stayed away from the offerings largely because of the service quality issues, RC Wireless reported. The big problem is that uplink speeds are much slower and have “have made it difficult for operators to market a solution that matched the voice quality of their circuit-switched offerings,” the report said.
 
There’s no doubt mobile VoIp will be a growing field. Mobile VoIP will have more than 278 million registered users worldwide by 2013, according to market research firm In-Stat.
 
But challenges remain. In particular, carriers are challenged to support mobile VoIP services because their data networks need to have network coverage that is equivalent to their voice networks, the report said.
 
Many carriers agree that VoIP will play a key role in the evolution of mobile voice transmissions because of the numerous benefits it offers. But carriers need to overcome the challenge of building the supporting infrastructure, the pricing and how to bets promote the offering, RC Wireless said.
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