VOIP call costs are starting to undercut mobile phone operators' tariffs, particularly on roaming and international calls, according to a recent Fitch Ratings report.
The study said that mobile VOIP
phone calls are between 10 and 20 times less than a 3G mobile
According to Fitch, mobile VOIP is unlikely to achieve mass market take up for some time. However, the report adds: 'As network quality
improves, selective usage
of mobile VoIP could start to impact operators' revenue from higher tariff
services like international
calls and voice roaming.'
The report said there are several factors holding back the adoption of mobile VoIP over
3G. It said: 'Network quality remains a problem. The 3G coverage required for VoIP
remains patchy and
upload speeds are poor.'
The report added that latency, the delay before the network
delivers a packet of data, is also too high.
Nonetheless these glitches are expected to disappear eventually as better handsets come onto the market and web technology improves.
VOIP will continue to become more accessible, the report predicts. At present users have to download the software for VOIP but Fitch Ratings said that, in the long-term, mobile phone operators are likely to
design their own VOIP applications for phones.