An article in today’s InformationWeek VoIP Over Wi-Fi Helps, Hurts Service Providers speaks about the looming threat WVoIP (Wi-Fi VoIP) poses to cellular service providers profits. I say to cellular service providers “It will only hurt if you fight it (Wi-Fi VoIP).”
If Cellular service providers are looking to protect their revenues, then they should work with mobile handset vendors and Wi-Fi network provides to produce Wi-Fi/Cellular handsets. With these “dual mode” devices, cellular service providers will be able to offset the loss of roaming revenues through the sale of data plans through which customers can place calls through cellular and Wi-Fi networks.
Another route would be for the cellular providers to acquire small to mid-sze Wi-Fi service providers, and attempt to build out their “own” Wi-Fi networks. It is also quite possible that they may look to purchase small to mid-size VoIP service providers. Whatever the case maybe, the emergence of WVoIP will only hurt them if they fight it.