Mobile VoIP to drive mobile web revenues to $6 billion by 2012

The value of presence based Mobile Web 2.0 services will increase to more than $6 billion by 2012, according to a new report from Juniper Research. Increasing smartphone penetration in developed markets, allied to rising global usage of both on-net and off-net mobile IM (instant messaging) will help to drive this trend.

Web 2.0 has been the catalyst for renewed growth in the mobile industry, comprising:
Presence – SMS-based presence (alerts) and server-based presence services; Geolocation – services that enable users to share location details with other users, third parties or applications, collaborate with those nearby, and exploit local knowledge; Social Web – including social networking sites, user generated content, and a variety of sub-categories including blogs and dating.

The report found that monetising Mobile Web 2.0 services was still posing a challenge across the mobile value chain. Nevertheless, it concluded that opportunities exist for service providers across a range of business models, ranging from subscription-based services to ad-funded solutions.

The Mobile Web 2.0 report found that revenues from presence-based services were currently almost exclusively derived from operator-billed mobile IM accounts. Mobile VoIP traffic, on the other hand, has been severely constrained by the need for higher speed networks such as 3G or HSPA in order to provide the quality of service required.

In addition, many operators have historically sought to block VoIP services in order to protect their voice revenues. Juniper believes that both these issues will begin to ease as mobile broadband becomes more prevalent and new operator business models facilitate the inclusion of VoIP services.

Report author Ian Chard observed: “Since the use of IP delivers lower cost calling rates, for international calls in particular, then as 3G service adoption gradually becomes more prevalent there is likely to be a marked migration of voice traffic across to mobile VoIP.”