Feeds

Mobile operators face unexpected rivals

VoIP undermines revenue assumptions

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A new study from the OECD predicts that increased use of internet telephony will result in lower revenues for both fixed-line and mobile operators.

According to its latest report, the number of fixed phone lines in OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries fell for the first time in 2003 as mobile operators gained market share at the expense of traditional telecoms companies.

That trend has continued into 2004 and 2005 but is unlikely to carry on for very much longer. That's because use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services is expected to increase with the result that both fixed-line and mobile operators will see a significant drop in revenues.

A comparison of the cost of calls in OECD countries using Skype and traditional fixed-line carriers revealed an average saving of 80 per cent for users of the free software application. Although such obvious cost savings are leading consumers to ditch their landline, as yet there's been little impact on the mobile market.

According to a Gartner forecast last month, worldwide sales of mobile phones are expected to top 779 million in 2005. By 2009, it is estimated that over 1 billion mobile phones will be sold each year.

However, there's no doubting the fact that use of VoIP services is on the rise and will at some point impact on mobile operators revenues. A recently published report from Point Topic indicated that the number or people using internet telephony more than doubled in 2004.

The research company found that 11 million people around the world were using retail VoIP services by the end of July, up from just five million the previous year. These figures don't include users of PC-based "soft-client" applications such as Skype, which claims to have 35 million registered users.

OECD predicts that traditional telecom companies are likely to offer new services such as Wi-Fi hotspots in a bid to maintain market share. It warns that these offerings may provide tougher competition for 3G mobile operators which weren’t expecting to have such rivals when they paid exorbitant sums for licences between five and seven years ago.

To maximise revenue, the report suggests that 3G operators may need to change their charging policies, for example by persuading customers to sign up for longer-term contracts rather than purchasing calling time on an ad-hoc basis.

In addition, OECD forecast that service operators will increasingly offer integrated video, voice and data products in a single service package. It also expects that the growing popularity of downloading video from the Internet will result in a reduction in the amount of time people spend watching television, leading to a fall in both audience share and advertising revenue.

© ENN

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.