VOIP is the future once the data plans become dominant. And according to Wireless Week, In-Stat believes this as well. In fact, they dug into something that I had not considered.
First of all, I'm a big fan of Skype and I use it for work and and at home. My hope is that I would be able to use any network and use Skype or another VOIP service instead of what mobile services we're using now which is metered access.
In-Stat believes this is possible. There are 3G operators and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that are free to pick and choose the business model they want to follow. And more over, people are starting to see voice as application to be used over the network, not an extension of their mobile plan.
When will this happen? That really depends on a couple of things in the marketplace. In-Stat believes by 2013, VOIP will being in more than $32 billion and nearly 300 million users. However, there is a lot of work to be done between now and then.
There needs to be a catalyst. Something in the marketplace has to happen to force the issue. Perhaps, it could be the 4G network going live. Maybe a carrier, like Sprint in the US, makes a bold move and moves everyone over to a data-only access with tiered plans much like what the telecoms and cable companies offer now with broadband service.
At the end of the day, we are marching slowly but surely in this direction.
More at Wireless Week.