Market Overview

The?voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) market?is expected to reach USD 8.17?billion in 2025,?from USD 1.92?billion in 2019, recording a CAGR of 27.24% during the forecast period, (2020 - 2025). Most operators are expected to launch both VoWiFi and VoLTE services as a natural evolution toward an all-IP-based communication, which may improve the indoor coverage network more efficiently.

  • Increasing internet penetration is driving the market. According to internet world stats, with 3.7 billion Internet users in late 2017, the penetration increased to 3.9 billion Internet users in mid 2018. 71% of all mobile communication flows over WiFi and 80% of smartphone users supplement their coverage with WiFi internet, which is raising the demand of VoWifi market very effectively.
  • Reduction of indoor coverage problem is driving the market. Weak cellular reception in homes, offices and shops is a major source of frustration for users. People with poor indoor coverage can go to great lengths to get a signal, like leaning out of a window. VoWiFi makes it possible for users to make and receive calls reliably even when indoors without having to install new equipment or upgrade their smartphone.
  • However, maintenance is problematic as carriers are not responsible for troubleshooting and repairing Wi-Fi networks. Instead, residential Wi-Fi users and enterprise IT departments are responsible and there is also currently no E-911 capability in VoWiFi, which is restraining the market.

Scope of the Report

The Voice Over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) is a Wi-Fi based voice service. VoWiFi market has the potential to transform the 4G voice business with various device such as smartphones, tablets and laptops and the telecom sector remains crucial for innovation, growth across various industries.

Key Market Trends

Public Wifi Hotspot to Make Significant Market Share

  • A general access network lets users continue to have access to make calls without having to have a cell tower nearby. In addition to covering places with bad cell reception, the existence of public WiFi hotspots is rolling out for more VoWiFi. This encourages more users to get on public WiFi, especially in rural areas where the cell tower coverage is significantly worse than in urban areas.
  • In India, the government is eyeing to put up 10 million WiFi hotspots by 2022 to facilitate public data offices, and has mandated five hotspots in each of the 250,000 gram panchayats or village blocks for public utility services under the mega initiative to digitally connect the country. BSNL is installing 25,000 WiFi hotspots under a government programme, which it aims to complete by the end of the current fiscal year in 2019, which will increase the market of VoWifi.
  • The increase in the number of WiFi hotspots will also help the operators in freeing up their spectrum as the users will make use of WiFi hotspots to make a call instead of using the carrier network. Thus, operators can save their capital expenditure.
  • iPass, a pioneer in wireless technology predicts that there will be one public hotspot for every 20 people on earth by 2018. Operators are likely to leverage on this availability of Wi-Fi to use VoWiFi to extend coverage, particularly indoors and in areas of poor cellular coverage to reduce churn, which will enhance the market growth in future.

North America to Hold a Significant Share

  • North America is gaining the share due to increasing penetration of LTE and early adoption of IMS. The number of LTE subscribers in North America increased from 71% in June, 2017 to 82% in December 2018. Also, T-Mobile used 70% of spectrum for 4G LTE and out of the total voice calls 67% were carried out using VoLTE.
  • In North America, roaming rates are very high, with the time spent on roaming trips being the highest among all other regions. Thus, with VoWiFi, the roaming charges are expected to decrease and the region may witness increased data roaming traffic.
  • Companies are also investing in IMS (Multimedia Core Network Subsystem) technology directly or indirectly. For instance, in 2018, Eastlink, a telecom company, has selected Ericsson as its network supplier for VoLTE and VoWiFi deployment. Ericsson will deploy a 5G network based on virtual IMS component in United States.
  • Telecom operators are also partnering with service assurance companies to provide improved quality of their voice calls in VoWiFi and VoLTE networks. For instance, in April 2018, Empirix, the provider of service assurance and customer experience management solutions for telecom operators, signed a 3-year contract with a Tier 1 North American telecom operator for USD 19 million, which will drive the market in future.

Competitive Landscape

The voice over wifi (vowifi) market is moving towards fragmented stage as the competitive rivalry is growing and global players are innovating new technologies to make more helpful and efficient to the consumers. Key players are Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems Inc., Oracle Corporation, etc. Recent developments in the market are -

  • May 2019 - Cellcom, provider of nationwide communications services throughout Michigan and Wisconsin, has selected Mavenir to deploy its virtualized IMS mobile core and voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) software solutions. This virtualized technology allows operators to quickly and easily create and manage Telco-grade services based on a wide range of commercially available off-the-shelf hardware.

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