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Over-the-top VOIP users to reach 1 billion in 4 years

Over the top (OTT) VOIP users will top 1 billion by 2017, according to some new research. It's no surprise that traditional voice call usage is going down, but that doesn't mean that people are stopping voice calls all together. The transition to VOIP (Voice Over IP) calling services is on the rise, according to a report out today by Juniper Research, and could reach a massive 1 billion users in just 4 short years. Today, current VOIP solutions like Skype and Talkatone don't integrate natively with phones but rather run as standalone apps, and don't always work as well as users would expect over regular 3G data technologies.

Fortunately as LTE becomes the standard for mobile data, the higher speeds and lower latency will help this move. Apps will start to take advantage with better audio codecs and other software innovations as well. The unknown in all of this is how carriers will react to the move towards VOIP solutions as primary calling options for users.

Source: FierceWireless

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • They'll try to block it, then charge even more money for it, just like they did with tethering... They wont embrace it as a primary voice service either.
  • I already use VOIP as my primary way to call. With $30 a month, I get 100 mins talk, unlimited text and web on T-Mobile prepaid. I also got a Skype number with unlimited N. America talking for $60 a year, I changed my Skype caller ID to Google voice and use Google voice to redirect the call to my Skype number and Skype to forward to my cell phone if I can't pick up. Once you are set, you can have a fully unlimited plan for only $35 a month, plus I save an average of $7-8 per refill so my cost falls around $27-28 per month and the best part, there is no tax.
  • Verizon will block it, make there own crappier version, and then charge you your first born.
  • Try Vonage. Just the HD sound on 3G (2Mb down/1Mb up) is amazing.
  • Vonage is a rip off.
    You can do much better than that, approaching free in many cases.
  • "Over the top"? Is that supposed to mean using VOIP on a device that already has other ways of voice calling?
  • Over the top simply means voip over broadband. (VOBB). Its a TELCO provider's pejorative definition for solutions using VOIP over standard broadband (cable or DSL) instead of specialized digital circuits provided by the telcos. Telcos hate it. But its where all the innovation is these days. The cat is out of the proverbial bag, as every Andorid has it built in (internet calling). If its not built in you can add it easily from a dozen packages in the play store. See:
  • Cool, thanks. I had not heard the term used before. Really, the days are numbered for "voice" minutes and such, anyway. We all know that, it is surprising the Telcos even want to try and fight it. Does get complicated with taxes and tariffs, and billing, and lots of other issues, of course.
  • I agree the sooner the Carriers decide to be dumb pipes the better. Why do they want to worry themselves with taxes and tariffs and billing, when they can simply drop every call onto the internet and avoid all that hassle? They should just sell us bandwidth, and stop trying to micromanage what people do with it.
  • How will they respond to it... easy. They'll lower caps. Or at the very least, refuse to up them down the road. Starve off the data connection and VoIP becomes less feasible.
  • VoIP take very little data... less than watching youtube in my case. I have been only using Nexus 7 3g for 40+ days and have work ok so far. just upset with bluetooth issue, otherwise great.
  • with the move to the shared plans, which include unlimited voice and texting, I don't see why they'd care. if anything, they'd be in favor as it would take up from the data allowances
  • Exactly. A move to more VoIP works entirely to the carriers' advantage. They will welcome it.
  • Carriers will block/extort/ransom.
  • Carriers want you to use more data, especially if it's capped. Verizon & AT&T were the last ones to incorporate unlimited minute plans because when minutes mattered. Tmobile and smaller carriers were eating their lunch. Now that there's a common way to bypass minute usage they're going to S start focusing on charging you more for less data. Now here comes the crappy part,... VoLTE, which uses data to make calls over LTE. When this is implemented no more calls over the cellular network. And here's where the shit hits the fan. Data only capped plans with very low data caps. AND VERIZON WINS!!! While we sit there and look stupid because w let them do it!
  • I use voip a lot already and have for a couple years now. I use GrooveIP in order to make my google voice number usable over wifi/4G. I also just put my wife on Republic wireless which DOES integrate voip...not a stand alone app. The service is working great between sprint network coverage and home (or anywhere) where it uses wifi to make calls seamlessly to the user. Not a lot of phone options on Republic but I support what they are doing and their *reasonable* pricing since half the time or more we are not even using a cellular network. More carriers should consider this...but then again how would they rape us for their ridiculous monthly plans if we didn't need them as much?
  • I'm on Verizon with unlimited data, for now, and I'd would like to get rid of the Voice Minutes on my plan. The minimum 700 minutes adds cost to my plan that I wish I could eliminate because in a family of 5 lines, we use maybe 250 of it if that. Give me a reduced data only plan and a VOIP option and I'd be just fine. I prefer Tango over Skype for my current Video calling. Seems more stable.
  • I have been using many VOIP apps, presently I am using
    I truly believe that VOIP apps of the modern times have got cool features which will keep the users hooked to them. Like MaraConnect allwo the users to get in touch with their friends on Facebook and LinkedIn without using their phone numbers.