Mobile VoIP Anytime Soon?
VoLTE may hold the key to wide-scale IP-fication of enterprise voice and give it the agility and scalability it has long needed
Traditionally, wireline has formed the staple part of enterprise voice services. While IP-fication of wireline data has happened to a large extent, that of voice is yet to become a ubiquitous reality. However, with the 4G-led IP-fication of voice on the horizon, a new trend could possibly begin—one where mobile formally gets to play a bigger part in enterprise voice.
Until that happens, however, a combination of fixed-line telephony and over-the-top (OTT) voice services such as Skype as well as various VoIP services continue to dominate the landscape.
Meanwhile, the overall fixed line subscriber base in India, comprising both business and residential subscriptions, continued to decline. According to the latest Performance Indicator Report by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the wireline subscriber base declined from 27.41 million at the end of September 2014 to 25.95 million at the end of September 2015, registering a year-on-year decline of 5.3 percent.
State-run operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), which continues to be the market leader, saw the steepest churn – from 17.37 million subscribers in September 2014, it ended up having 15.65 million subscribers by the close of September 2015, which marked a decline of close to 10 percent. The other state-owned operator MTNL managed to hold ground at 3.53 million. Nevertheless, private operators like Airtel and Tata showed marginal improvements, closing the quarter at 3.52 million and 1.71 million subscribers, respectively. Other operators are Reliance, Tata, Quadrant, Sistema and Vodafone.
That, however, doesn’t seem to have diminished the long-term potential of the market or has deterred players from expanding their networks. In fact, the newest entrant to the fixed-line club, Vodafone, has been quite focused on