1.8bn people using mobile video calling after 50% growth

1.8bn people using mobile video calling after Covid causes 50% growth

16 February 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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The use of people using mobile video calling went up from 1.2 billion in 2019 to 1.8 billion last year as the pandemic spread.

In its latest report, Juniper Research notes that this represents a growth of 50% over 12 months, as the Covid-19 pandemic fuelled the need for remote communication services.

The study predicts that the number of mobile video calling service users will continue to grow. There will be 4.5 billion users by 2025, representing 50% of global mobile subscribers.

The report says North America and Europe are two regions that will experience considerable uptake of mobile voice and video calling solutions over the next four years.

“By 2025, over 70% of mobile subscribers are anticipated to use mobile video calling solutions in these regions,” says Juniper Research, “owing to high smartphone ownership and the ubiquitous availability of video calling services.”

The research recommends the integration of mobile voice and video calling services into smart speakers to maximise service value. Research co-author George Crabtree observed: “Innovation in the mobile voice and video space will come from consumer devices beyond smartphones, enabled by the IP-based nature of video calling services. This provides the perfect platform for the development and rollout of new video calling services over the next four years.”

Meanwhile, says Juniper Research, the number of voice over LTE (VoLTE) connections will reach 5.5 billion by 2025; rising from 3.3 billion in 2021.

This growth of 60% over the next four years will be accelerated by increasing adoption of 5G subscriptions by mobile subscribers, as VoLTE services, developed initially for 4G, are included in 5G standards, says the research company.

The report recommends that increasing the level of virtualisation within core networks should be considered a priority for operators to handle increasing VoLTE traffic.