The rise of mobile and the transformation of the modern workplace prompted an extension of VoIP to the realm of wireless. For the sake of simplicity, mobile VoIP refers to mobile devices that have been integrated into an existing VoIP network. For example, a Wi-Fi or 3G/4G cellular network that the mobile device can be connected to.
In order to actually make mobile VoIP calls, users require a service provider’s software or app on their phone. For example, Skype and Whatsapp are two of the most commonly used providers that facilitate mobile VoIP calls. Thanks to these kinds of apps, VoIP calls are no longer tethered to a physical internet connection and can be initiated anywhere that has a mobile or Wi-Fi connection.
Growth of the mobile VoIP market
As mentioned, the rapid adoption of smartphones and mobile technology has forced the hand of VoIP service providers. With 72% of the U.S. workforce is expected to be mobile by 2020 and over 36% of the world’s population is projected to use a smartphone by 2018, up from about 10% in 2011, there is clearly a need for reliable, affordable communication between mobile devices across the world.
This growth in smartphone usage has consequently increased in network traffic growth. Providers who use the networks have had to significantly improve their infrastructure, with a direct focus on mobile VoIP.
The mobile VoIP market has also grown substantially in emerging economies where traditional phone calls are heavily taxed and regulated. It’s no surprise then that the Asia-Pacific region is expected to adopt mobile VoIP technology the fastest, rising at a CAGR of over 23% from 2016 to 2024. They’ve turned to apps like Skype, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger as their preferred communication platforms to counteract the traditional methods.
Features of mobile VoIP
The features of mobile VoIP will be similar to your desktop VoIP applications. Some common features that might be unique to your mobile VoIP provider:
- Call Flip - The ability to transfer an ongoing call to another device.
- Find me / follow me - This forwards calls to the correct device depending on your personal availability preferences.
- Number masking or business number routing - Employees may prefer to appear to be using their business number publicly, even if the calls are done over their personal device.
- Mobile video calls
- Presence monitoring - Being mobile means not always being available. Many VoIP applications show presence information about whether a user is busy or available on the app.
What the future holds for mobile VoIP
It’s a staggering statistic to consider that the adoption rate of smartphones among US millennials is as high as 98%, with 67% of them also not having any landline. With that in mind, the future is in optimizing the way in which this generation communicates via mobile VoIP.
One of the ways technological advancements that will impact mobile VoIP will be the introduction of 5G. Scheduled for a release in parts of the world by 2020, service providers are eagerly anticipating its potential influence and impact on how we communicate and how we work. Increased network speeds, improved latency, and more scope for communication to extend beyond basic video calling will mean that 5G should open doors to mobile VoIP providers.
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