VoWi-Fi Growing Rapidly in the Enterprise

By Ed Sutherland

August 10, 2009

A new study from ABI Research shows enterprise use of voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi) will double by 2014, driven largely by smartphone use.

Enterprise use of voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi) will double by 2014, according to new research. Smartphones with Wi-Fi will grow from 45 percent in 2009 to 90 percent over the next five years, according to a report from ABI Research.

"Business customers are the primary adopters of smartphones, and with increased penetration of Wi-Fi smartphones, this changes the playing field between cellular and Wi-Fi F/MC (Fixed/Mobile Convergence)," according to the research report.

Overall, F/MC in the enterprise by 2014 will reach 27 million business workers, up sharply from 6.3 million in 2009. (F/MC embraces cellular femtocells as well as voice over Wi-Fi.)

Among other issues, businesses need to keep better tabs on social networks, such as Facebook and MySpace, which are increasingly viewed via phones by business customers.

Still uncertain is the impact Web-based VoIP applications for cell phones, such as Skype and Truphone, will have on business use of F/MC.

While not enterprise ready now, "their availability will change how we view VoIP on cell phones, leading to some interesting opportunities and challenges for the mobile supply chain," said Dan Shey, ABI Research practice director.

Worldwide, F/MC on enterprise handsets grew by 230 percent during 2008 to 2.67 million devices, research firm Frost & Sullivan recently announced.

"Last year, we witnessed the materialization of different advanced enterprise F/MC solutions into the market—as well as the considerable growth of real commercial deployments," Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Alaa Saayed said in a statement.

Article courtesy of EnterpriseVoIPPlanet.com.

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