Mobile Voice Market Shrinking As Carriers Turn To 5G, AI: Study

The mobile voice market is presently on a decline and will continue shrinking over the next half a decade, with its revenue falling from $354 billion this year to $197 billion in 2023, according to the latest estimates from Juniper Research. With an average annual decline of some ten-percent, wireless carriers will lose about $157 billion in the next five years as Internet apps and services continue taking mobile voice customers, forcing them to innovate and diversify in order to maintain their performance levels, as per the same report. Over-the-top (OTT) mobile and web apps such as Facebook's Messenger, WhatsApp, and Viber are still expected to be outnumbered by VoLTE solutions in 2020 in terms of users, Juniper Research states.

The fifth generation of mobile networks is one of the largest opportunities for network operators in the medium term, with the incoming wireless technologies promising to enable a wide variety of new applications and businesses, allowing telecom giants to revamp their enterprise offerings and possibly even replace their roles of traditional B2B service providers with those of full-fledged partners. By 2023, approximately 370 million devices will be connected to 5G networks, generating roughly $88 billion in additional revenue for the wireless industry, the report predicts. Combined with artificial intelligence solutions such as Google's Duplex, the 5G revolution may eventually not only offset the incoming mobile voice losses but even end up helping wireless carriers to continue growing.

VoLTE itself remains an attractive market and one that will be the main revenue generator in the mobile voice segment in the coming years, according to the same study. Offering communications platforms as a service to both enterprises and individual consumers is another platform worth exploring by the wireless industry, Juniper Research analysts believe. Large-scale 5G deployment is set to start in the first half of 2019, with the United States, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and China being at the forefront of the latest wireless race. American consumers should benefit from nationwide 5G coverage in 2020, according to previous promises from stateside telecom giants and technology companies.

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