Feeds

Mobile operators face unexpected rivals

VoIP undermines revenue assumptions

High performance access to file storage

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

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.