Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Infonetics Raises VoLTE Forecast

Infonetics Research has increased its VoLTE forecast following the rollout experience of SK Telecom earlier this year.  Infonetics now expects more than 8 million VoLTE subscribers and 12 commercial rollouts by year.

"On the VoLTE front, the success of SK Telecom's VoLTE adoption-3.6 million subscribers in April 2013-has lifted our forecast: we now expect 12 commercial VoLTE networks and 8 million VoLTE subscribers by year-end, with about three-quarters of those in Asia Pacific," stated Stéphane Téral, Infonetics Research's principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics and co-author of the report.

Meanwhile, over-the-top mobile VoIP subscribers nearing 1 billion mark.

"While Skype dominates the over-the-top mobile VoIP space, the market is seeing other applications such as Fring, KakaoTalk, Line, Nimbuzz, WeChat and Viber gain in strength," notes Diane Myers, Infonetics Research's principal analyst for VoIP, UC and IMS. "But the fact remains that most OTT mVoIP providers are making very little money per user. In 2012, the average revenue per user was a meager US$7.13 annually. Since this alone is an unsustainable business model, most providers are turning to advertising, third-party apps and wholesale arrangements with traditional operators."

Some highlights:

  • The number of global OTT mobile VoIP subscribers shot up more than 550% in 2012, to over 640 million, and is expected to approach the 1 billion mark in 2013
  • Microsoft/Skype had roughly 40% of all active users of OTT mobile VoIP services in 2012
  • Infonetics projects the number of VoLTE subscribers to grow at a 145% compound annual growth rate from 2012 to 2017
  • Combined, over-the-top mobile VoIP and VoLTE services are expected to become a $16 billion business by 2017