The volume of 5G voice users continues to rise in the age of COVID despite economic sanctions and the global downturn in the telecommunications industry. 5G carriers, in particular, are driving growth with dramatically high investments in emerging technologies to support 5G adoption across businesses.
According to a new study on 5G voice user volume trends, Juniper Research predicted that the user base will reach 2.5 billion worldwide by 2026; from just 290 million in 2022.
What this growth in 5G voice user volume means for the telecommunications industry
The remarkable 780% growth in the 5G user base will be driven by the acceleration of 5G deployments after a slowdown during the pandemic.
Voice over 5G leverages the software nature of 5G networks to deliver APIs for business voice services on carrier networks. The new research paper titled “Mobile Voice Strategies: Future Monetization Opportunities & Market Forecasts 2022-2026” urges operators to capitalize on the growth of Voice-over-5G users. This diversification of 5G services will allow operators to create a new portfolio of voice services specifically aimed at emerging markets.
Key 5G technologies that will drive growth
Operators providing 5G voice services should begin to expand their portfolio to support these technologies:
- Interactive call
- Smart Call Routing
- Integration of AI-based IVR (interactive voice services)
These technologies are likely to provide the most immediate Voice-over-5G ROI.
5G to allow operators to compete with OTT applications
In particular, the report identified interactive calling as a key opportunity for carriers that have launched 5G to provide more valuable voice services and compete with OTT voice applications. Interactive Calling leverages 5G networks to deliver advanced voice calling features, including interactive content and screen sharing, directly into the native call app on smartphones, eliminating the need for third-party apps .
Current 4G voice technology, VoLTE (Voice-over-LTE), is not sufficient to support interactive calls.
While there are currently over 4.4 billion VoLTE users, or more than 50% of subscribers, the drop in throughput of 4G networks compared to 5G networks has so far limited the use of interactive features or AI in carrier voice services.
Voice revenue forecast will continue to decline
Despite the growth of voice over 5G, the report predicts that carrier-billed voice revenue will decline by 16% over the next four years as P2P voice traffic migrates to third-party voice applications. He urges operators to capitalize on the growth of 5G to develop new voice services for businesses, such as interactive calls. 5G-based voice services must emulate current carrier business messaging solutions by taking the cost off businesses, rather than monetizing mobile subscriber usage.
Source: Mobile Voice Strategies: Future Monetization Opportunities and Market Forecast 2022-2026, by Juniper Research
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