Infonetics: Voice over LTE taking off absent an immediate business case; Japan's Line overtakes Skype


CAMPBELL, California, June 26, 2014-Market research firm Infonetics Research released excerpts from its latest VoLTE and OTT Mobile VoIP Services and Subscribers report, which tracks voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) and over-the-top (OTT) mobile voice over IP (mVoIP) service revenue, subscribers, and deployments.

"VoLTE rollouts are taking off, but there is no business case for it yet, and dubbing it as 'HD voice' is misleading because there are already 100 high-definition (HD) voice networks running on HSPA around the world. And Africa has the best HD voice networks!" notes Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research.

Diane Myers, co-author of the report and Infonetics' principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS, adds: "In the highly dynamic over-the-top mobile VoIP market, Japan-based Line has topped Skype as the market leader, capturing roughly a quarter of worldwide active users in 2013. Line's been able to successfully think outside the traditional voice box, offering paid services through application add ons like games and stickers that not only create a revenue stream, but also increase usage of core services."

.       The number of voice over LTE (VoLTE) commercial services launched to date slowly crawled to 8 in June 2014, up from 4 last year, and 3 in South Korea in 2012
.       There were 12 million VoLTE subscribers worldwide in 2013, mostly in South Korea
.       By year's end, Infonetics expects an additional 30 commercial VoLTE networks to launch and  VoLTE subscribers to increase to 51 million
.       In 2013, there were 1.5 billion mobile VoIP (mVoIP) subscribers worldwide, the bulk via over the-top (OTT) applications
.       The majority of OTT mVoIP application usage continues to be dominated by Asia Pacifica after a shift in 2012; the region boasts a mobile broadband penetration rate of over 100%
o       Particularly, the use of OTT mVoIP is skyrocketing in China, South Korea, Japan, India,
and Indonesia
.       Despite a 12% 2013-2018 CAGR for OTT mVoIP service revenue, most providers in this space are making very little money per user - an unsustainable business model for many independent companies

Infonetics' VoLTE and OTT mobile VoIP service includes a 18-page analysis report and a customizable Excel report with global and regional market size and forecasts through 2018 of OTT mVoIP and VoLTE service revenue, ARPU, and subscribers. The report also includes an OTT mVoIP and VoLTE Deployment Tracker by service provider, platform, and launch date. Providers currently tracked include AT&T, China Mobile, Etisalat, Fring, Google Voice, KakaoTalk, KT, LG U+, Line, Nimbuzz, NTT docomo, Orange, Rebtel, SK Telecom, Skype, Telefónica, T-Mobile, Bobsled, Verizon Wireless, Viber, WeChat, others. To buy the report, contact Infonetics:


Diane Myers
Principal Analyst, VoIP, UC, and IMS
Infonetics Research
+1 408-583-3391
Twitter: @dianemyers

Stéphane Téral
Principal Analyst, Mobile Infrastructure and Carrier Economics
Infonetics Research