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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After starting as the year of HD voice, 2010 ended as the year of video communication. Video in fact became so prominent that it earned a place in the title of this list. Announcements about new video communication products and services were so numerous they became routine. As the year progressed, it became clear that video conferencing/calling was no longer a luxury for the corporate and government elite, but was well on the way to becoming a commodity for the masses. Ordinary individuals will soon be making video calls with little more thought than they now give to picking up a telephone. Making that happen, however, will be a complex challenge for vendors and service providers.
A variety of other factors shaped voice and visual communication during the year. Chief among these were developments in mobile VoIP and video calling, along with an acceleration of the move to cloud-based voice services. Politics and the weather played unusually high-profile roles as well. So did the negative: Unlike last year, not all the important developments were advances – some were downright problematic. But even the negative developments had some constructive aspects. Skype of course figured prominently in many of the developments. So pervasive was the influence of the Internet VoIP pioneer that it seemed that the corporate slogan of "Skype Everywhere" applied to its appearances in headlines as well.
Continue reading "The Top 25 VoIP and Video Developments of 2010" »