It is important to distinguish between a profitable business that successfully sells VoIP services and a profitable VoIP business. Successful VoIP businesses are driven by other services the company offers, and by services that align with customers' perceived needs – not by the VoIP business alone.""
In the early 2000s, telecom industry experts widely expected VoIP to change the dynamics of the voice communications business. But a decade later, the largest providers of consumer Internet voice services are, with one exception, conventional telecommunications companies. Some are pioneers and innovators, some are not. What they do share, however, is a market strategy that doesn't rely solely on price.
This report provides an overview of the current state of the consumer VoIP market, examines VoIP business successes and failures, and explores how evolving IP communications – mobility, convergence, femtocells, cloud computing, ultra-fast broadband, and open devices – are opening new opportunities for successful consumer VoIP services.
• The most profitable over-the-top VoIP providers are those that quickly leveraged their success into building their own networks.
• Successful VoIP providers offer multiple communications services, as well as services aligned with the key needs of targeted markets.
• Consumer VoIP is most successful in the most regulated (non-Communist) markets.
• The core network is still a key opportunity for service providers to differentiate.
• Telecoms have more natural advantages in the VoIP business than incumbency. They understand consumer expectations, and the migration to all-IP networks allows them to leverage network consolidation.
• The pressure is on VoIP service providers to make VoIP mobile. Driven by growing mobile handset capabilities and broadband subscriptions, and continued high prices for international calls, the market for mobile VoIP is developing quickly.
• The mobile handset is coming into its own as a platform for converged communications.
• The rapidly growing number of mobile smartphones creates opportunities to integrate voice interaction into a wide range of applications, as well as creating opportunities for other types of intelligent, converged appliances – reinventing the home phone, for example. Amazon's Kindle e-book shows the opportunity for mobile communications-equipped ""appliances"" at mass-market prices.
• Consumers increasingly want services customized to their needs, preferences and priorities – giving VARs, software companies, and Internet companies, as well as voice service providers, opportunities increase their value to specific markets and customers.
• Emerging markets present big risks, but offer big VoIP opportunities because many people in these countries are bypassing conventional telephone service for mobile and VoIP.
Use this report to:
• Identify profitable business opportunities, strategies and markets for consumer VoIP.
• Understand what works and what doesn't in the VoIP business.
• Analyze successful VoIP business models.
• Examine the challenges facing VoIP service providers.
• Who are the winners and losers in consumer VoIP?
• How many VoIP subscribers and broadband (wired and mobile) users are there in China, Europe, Japan and the US?
• Who are the key VoIP players in these regions?
• What are the opportunities in specific regions?
• How can providers leverage Internet evolution into specific services that consumers value?
• What are the challenges facing VoIP providers, and what are the strategies they need to meet them?
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