There are two things set to impact the investment in IMS-based voice over LTE.
One item is an undisputed truth, the revenue per minute of voice continues its interminable slide towards rock-bottom. As industry pundit Dean Bubley posted the other day:
“The growing elephant in the room is the growing realization in the industry that mobile voice telephony revenues are declining.”
The point, from Dean’s perspective, is that it will be nearly impossible to find a return on investment for a massive new IMS/VoIP system. As he concludes to eloquently:
“What operator will want to invest in more expensive technology in order to provide a worse service in a declining market?”
Whammy #2 is one I don’t think gets the attention it deserves – namely that the generation of people, but particularly those under 30, would much rather text, email, Facebook, whatever… with their smartphone than actually make a phone call.
Across all age-groups/gender, the average number of voice minutes/month decreased 12% between 2009 and 2011.
In the same timeframe, the average texts/month increased 35% and 44% for woman and men respectively.
Perhaps adding insult to injury, the word “voice” didn’t even appear in the Nielsen report until page 24!
Maybe it's just not that interesting any more. The first 23 pages were filled with statistics about all the great over-the-top apps people use religiously.