Back when they were first launched, services such as Truphone VoIP and Skype threatened the mobile landscape with their low prices and “no-borders” attitude of communication options. With the rising adaptation and use of smartphone apps, these services seem to be on the rise again according to a report from Mobiletoday.
Many might suspect that this would result in some sort of upheaval in the international wireless landscape. Of course, one must also recall that services like Skype, Truphone, and Viber have been “threats” before. However, mobile network operators put a stop to that “threat” by offering more attractive voice and texting bundles and by utilizing tiered data plans to stop the use of such apps (since simply “blocking” the apps is not something the carrriers have the right to do).
Needless to say, it worked. But the threat seems to be on the rise again as market adoption leans more toward smartphones and with the rapid expansion and adaptation of Wi-Fi, an increasingly free and public source for mobile communication.
In a nutshell, this means that the future of mobile communications may yet be the apps you use on your smartphone or on your desktop rather than your mobile operator, who would no doubt want a piece of that pie and will try to find some innovative way to keep you with them.
This includes launching their own calling and messaging apps. Ovum’s Innovation Radar, a database that tracks the launch of new mobile services all over the world, saw numerous attempts by mobile network operators to offer their own version of calling and messaging apps over Wi-Fi in 2011.
We are, however, in the early stages of the app era, and even though you can get Tru and call anywhere for 8.45 per month GPB (12.95 per month USD), some apps offered by mobile operators may offer more features, but it is only a matter of time before mobile operators find themselves right back in the line of fire against apps like Tru and Skype. The mobile operators may have only one advantage over their app counterparts in the future: their coverage, something that even free public Wi-Fi won’t be able to compete with for awhile.