Mobile networks are at last yielding to the lure of dual-mode phones and voice over Wi-Fi, as flat-rate tariffs
That's the claim of Chong-Jin Koh, the head of Nuvoiz, a wireless VoIP start-up. He said that, after years of jealously guarding their voice revenues, some carriers have now realised that as average revenue per user (ARPU) moves to a flat rate, it's cheaper to offload call delivery onto Wi-Fi.
"Dual-mode phones will explode over the next five years," he said. "Skype and others are going mobile too, though they're mainly targeting consumers."
The dual-mode approach is especially interesting for mobile carriers which also have Wi-Fi networks. An early Nuvoiz customer is Yozan, which Koh said operates the largest Wi-Fi/WiMax network in Japan, and he added that Orange and Telia-Sonera - both of which have extensive hotspot networks - also have plans for dual-mode.
The main target though is enterprise users - they already have wireless LANs in place, and they want to cut their call costs, Koh said.
.... Some carriers will therefore look for VoIP routes that are compatible with today's handsets, hence O2's plan to put GSM nanocells into home broadband routers