VoIP minutes are expected to grow by 18 percent globally this year, according IDC (News - Alert). That’s a pretty healthy growth rate.
VoIP is hot, and with good reason. It delivers lower calling costs, added features, and both increased mobility and added flexibility. Individuals and businesses are adopting VoIP at a torrid pace, as the IDC numbers illustrate, and that’s a business opportunity for anyone savvy enough to seize on the global trend.
When deciding what kind of VoIP business to pursue, however, it is important to decide whether to go the wholesale route or the retail route. Business-to-business or business-to-consumer.
The wholesale VoIP model works by offering services to other VoIP service providers. Also, VoIP wholesale businesses offer terminating routes or minutes to customers for multiple destinations around the world usually.
A good wholesaler needs to have multiple termination operator partnerships to offer better quality of service and redundancy to its VoIP service provider customers.
For retail VoIP, individual customers are businesses are targeted instead of VoIP service providers. These customers can be small to medium-sized businesses, enterprise customers, or even consumers, although it is recommended that VoIP retail providers go after businesses due to the larger margins typically.
Retail VoIP providers will need to establish a bundle of services to be competitive, including calling card options, callback service, calling from computers, and mobile phone options.
This last point should not be overlooked, whether the business is selling VoIP wholesale or retail: Mobile VoIP matters.
Mobile VoIP matters because it is increasingly becoming the way that VoIP is consumed. In 2009, there were 40 million mobile VoIP users. In 2012, there were 150 million. It is estimated that by 2016, there will be 1 billion mobile VoIP users.
The takeaway is obvious: Mobile VoIP matters. Whether a wholesaler or a business selling retail VoIP solutions, it is crucial that mobile VoIP solutions are included.
Two areas to focus on when it comes to mobile VoIP are apps and security.
As a VoIP retailer, it makes all the difference if your VoIP service has an app that users can download to make calls from their smartphone, ideally one that is cross-platform and includes at least Android (News - Alert) OS and Apple’s iOS. As a wholesaler, offering a white label VoIP app that service providers can leverage is a great way to retain customers and grow your business.
Second, security is a vital concern when it comes to VoIP. It is important that VoIP providers have a way to limit damage when a customer’s smartphone is stolen. In developing countries, this issue can be even more pronounced.
Having security pin solutions can help, among other mobile VoIP security options, and this also will help your VoIP business differentiate from the competition.
And you must differentiate because while VoIP presents a huge business opportunity, competition is also fierce.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi