A new report by Infonetics Research shows that sorting through mobile VoIP options won't be simple anytime soon, even as user numbers explode. It starts with the fact that there are two main methods of delivering VoIP to mobile devices. One is over-the-top (OTT), in which the voice calls travel over carrier-provided data networks. The other is via LTE (long-term evolution), a technology that lets carriers themselves deliver voice calls over IP links to the handset. Prominent OTT providers include Skype, fring, Line2, Nimbuzz, Rebtel, Truphone, Viber, Vopium and others. Verizon Wireless will introduce native mobile VoIP over LTE in 2012.
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The numbers from Infonetics Research certainly sounded impressive. A new report by the market research firm revealed that the global market for VoIP services reached $21 billion in the first half of 2009. That sheer volume of revenue made it seem as if VoIP had become the massively disruptive technology everyone said it was going to be. A closer look, however, reveals just the opposite. In fact, VoIP itself is not inherently disruptive. Rather, it's merely a technology that makes the creation of disruptive services possible for those with the vision and insight to use it that way.
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