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Number of Mobile Video Calling Users Predicted to Jump to over 130M by 2018

  By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

The number of mobile video calling service users is predicted to jump to over 130 million users by 2018, according to a new study. That prediction shows the growing enthusiasm over the field.

Yet, one major issue for the sector is whether mobile video will be able to earn revenues on its own, a new report from Juniper Research (News - Alert) has found.

Examples of mobile video calling include such services as Skype, which as of last August had some 300 million users.

In a new report, “Future Voice Strategies: mVoIP, Carrier OTT and Mobile Video Calling 2014-2018,” Juniper Research found there were a relatively small number of mobile video calling users who actually pay for the service directly.

What is happening – in order to be successful – is that over the top (OTT) mobile video calling players are opening up client bases to “third games parties or developing their own apps,” according to a Juniper statement.

“With a number of OTT players having gained a critical mass of users through the provision of free video services, those players are now introducing an array of premium products or creating revenue-share partnerships to create a viable revenue stream,” Juniper’s Anthony Cox (News - Alert) said in the statement.

In addition, it was predicted by the study that the use of Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC) will lead to more integration of mobile Voice over Internet Protocol (mVoIP) functionality into mobile apps and websites. That in turn will lead to direct access to sales call centers from Websites, Juniper said.

Juniper also predicts that many mobile network operators (MNOs) will adopt Voice-over-LTE (News - Alert) (VoLTE) technology, and this may improve the operations of networks. But there will only be limited direct revenues – as a result. Kineto and Amdocs are examples of businesses which have made a niche for themselves in OTT monetization for multinational operators, the study said. MNOs and OTT carriers typically are seen as competitors. But they are collaborating on carrier OTT voice services. Juniper predicts that this could be “the most important change in the voice market since the advent of VoIP itself.”

That remains to be seen. But as for now, the fast-changing mobile video market continues to evolve.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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