Nowadays with the popularization of Internet access on Smartphone there’s an abundance of applications. Many of the VoIP providers in Canada do offer in the home phone alternative an app for Smartphone (mostly Android and iPhone) This is known as Mobile VoIP or simply mVoIP is an extension of mobility to a Voice over IP network. Two types of communication are generally supported: cordless/DECT/PCS protocols for short range or campus communications where all base stations are linked into the same LAN, and wider area communications using networks know as 3G or 4G (LTE).
There are several methodologies by which a mobile handset can be integrated into a VoIP network. One implementation turns the mobile device into a standard SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) client, which then uses a data network to send and receive SIP messaging and to send and receive RTP for the voice path. This methodology of turning a mobile handset into a standard SIP client requires that the mobile handset support, at minimum, high speed IP communications. In this application, standard VoIP protocols (typically SIP) are used over any broadband IP-capable wireless network connection such as EVDO rev A, HSDPA, WiFi, WiMAX or the newest LTE (Long Term Evolution).
Another implementation of mobile integration uses a soft switch like gateway to bridge SIP and RTP into the mobile network’s SS7 infrastructure. In this implementation, the mobile handset continues to operate as it always has (as a GSM or CDMA based device), but now it can be controlled by a SIP application server which can now provide advanced SIP based services to it. Several vendors offer this kind of capability today.
Mobile VoIP does imply a compromise between economy and mobility. For example, Voice over Wi-Fi offers potentially free service but is only available within the coverage area of a single Wi-Fi Access Point. Cordless protocols offer excellent voice support and even support base station handoff, but require all base stations to communicate on one LAN as the handoff protocol is generally not supported by carriers or most devices.
As device manufacturers add ever more powerful processors and boost memory, Smartphone are becoming more capable and now is common for a mobile user to watch you-tube videos or TV while in transit. Mobile VoIP users were predicted to exceed 100 million in 2012 and InStat projected up to 288 million subscribers in 2013. Though should be noted most cellular data networks, primarily those older generations (3G) are still experiencing high latency on data transfers and thus VoIP quality is severely affected. Although newer and faster wireless networks being built in Canada are changing that and many users report positive call quality. Is estimated in average a mVoIP app consumes 1MB per 1 minute of call time. While not in a call it consumes minimal data as it is listening for potential incoming calls.
The mobile operator industry business model conflicts with the expectations of VoIP users that look for added features and unlimited plans for a flat fee. However more and more VoIP providers in Canada are including Apps (or VoIP dialers) as part of their standard plans. Slowly is making a dent on the Mobile subscriber market. Having a mobile app as part of your Home Phone is a feature to consider when choosing a home phone replacement. Some VoIP providers also offer the ability that when it rings in the Home Phone it also does ring in the Mobile App; in unison. This in turn could have a positive effect in consumers in where it could consolidate all into one telephone line, if so desired. Also added benefit is that at some point it will be possible to stop having Voice packages and services from the traditional wireless carriers; as all those services would be then provided by VoIP providers – at a fraction of the price and with tons of features. VoIP may start as a Home Phone alternative due to the savings and rich features though it may end up being a solution that consolidates years of evolution in telecommunications.