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* VoIP can be carried by a variety of wireless technologies that support data services, including 3G, WLAN, Bluetooth, proprietary BWA and WiMAX

* 3G mobile operators have little incentive to offer VoIP services as W-CDMA offers the cost and capacity attributes to support fixed­mobile substitution

* Wireless VoIP presents fixed operators, MVNOs and VoIP providers with opportunities to disrupt the mobile voice market

* Mobile operators that offer unlimited-use data tariffs are vulnerable to third-party VoIP services carried via 3G data

* VoIP carried on Bluetooth or WLAN could help fixed operators reverse fixed­mobile substitution trends

* VoIP could be used to strengthen the business case for BWA technologies such as WiMAX

CAMBRIDGE, UK, 22 March 2005 ­ Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) can be carried by a number of wireless technologies, enabling fixed operators, MVNOs and VoIP service providers to bypass existing cellular voice services according to a new report, Wireless Voice Over IP: technical and commercial prospects published by Analysys, the global advisers on telecoms, IT and media (

With VoIP already having an impact on fixed networks, its use over wireless technologies such as 3G, WLAN, Bluetooth and broadband wireless access (BWA) could enable new players to enter the mobile voice market, so threatening the voice revenues of existing mobile network operators.

“For mobile operators that have invested heavily in 2G and 3G cellular networks there will be little incentive to offer VoIP services,” says Dr Mark Heath, co-author of the report. “Their existing networks already deliver better-quality voice services at lower cost than VoIP can achieve today. However, VoIP may look more attractive to those seeking to bypass mobile operators’ voice tariffs, particularly if an opportunity to undercut those tariffs using VoIP arises due to significant falls in 3G data pricing. A number of mobile operators have launched unlimited-use data tariffs that could make them vulnerable to customers using VoIP to cut their spend,” says Heath.

The report also reviews the use of wireless VoIP by fixed operators trying to defend against fixed­mobile substitution by developing services that combine VoIP over Bluetooth or WLAN, in the home or workplace, with cellular voice elsewhere. “Bluetooth solutions have limited range and are likely to be phased out quickly in favour of WLAN, as issues with handset power consumptions are resolved,” says report co-author Dr Alastair Brydon.

For operators considering deployment of broadband wireless access technologies (e.g. Flarion’s Flash-OFDM, IPWireless’s W-CDMA TDD or later WiMAX), being able to offer VoIP would strengthen the business case for investing in such networks by moving them beyond a focus on low-margin Internet access. “Flarion and IPWireless will be first to support BWA VoIP services,” says Brydon, “but they may have limited opportunities to achieve economies of scale and interworking of handsets. WiMAX may be a more attractive option if network features and terminals are available to support VoIP when it comes to fruition.”

Wireless Voice Over IP: technical and commercial prospects identifies the opportunities for VoIP services across a range of wireless technologies, and assesses their commercial feasibility and prospects. The report details examples of important wireless VoIP developments and services. For more information, telephone Analysys on +44 (0)1223 460600 or email

About Analysys (

Analysys provides strategy and management consultancy, information services and start-up support throughout the telecommunications, IT and media sector. Our firm grasp of market dynamics, our distinctive combination of creativity and rigour, and our renowned objectivity enable us to consistently exceed the high levels of quality and innovation that our clients expect. We have over 130 staff in offices in Cambridge, Edinburgh, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Washington DC, and work with associates in Auckland, Melbourne and Vancouver

Recent reports include:

* Billing for Mobility: strategies for convergent charging (February 2005)
* The World's Top Ten Wireless Services (January 2005)
* Pushing Beyond the Limits of 3G with HSDPA and other enhancements (December 2004)
* Retaining Customers and Minimising Churn: strategies for mobile markets (December 2004)
* The Business Case for Carrier Migration to VoIP (December 2004)
* The Role and Impact of WiMAX and Proprietary BWA (November 2004)
* Making a Success of the Mobile Content Value Chain (November 2004)
* Viable Business Models Point to Big Opportunities for Public WLAN (October 2004)
* TV on a mobile phone: the killer application for 3G (October 2004)
* Emerging Business Models in Voice: the impact of Skype and other private VoIP applications (September 2004)
* Delivering high-speed mobile Internet/intranet services: the role for 3G and public WLAN (August 2004)
* The Business Case for Broadband Entertainment (July 2004)
* 3G Launch Strategies: critical decisions on services and technology (June 2004)
* Western European Fixed Telecoms Markets: forecasts 2004-2009 (June 2004)
* Spectrum Trading and Liberalisation: new threats and opportunities for telecoms business models (June 2004)
* The Road to Fixed­Mobile Substitution Starts with 3G (April 2004)
* Western European Mobile Forecasts and Analysis 2004-2009 (March 2004)
* VoIP in the US Market: services, business models and regulation (March 2004)

Media contact (for author photography, executive summaries and interviews)

Louise Nunn
Tel: +44 (0)1223 460600

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