3G Mobile Video Calls Are Dead – Long Live Mobile Video Calls

Incredible, I made my first video call only or already a decade ago, depending on how you look at it. At the time I was convinced it would become a mass market phenomenon once more people had 3G phones. It didn't really work out like that, however, and I have to admit that the service never really became popular, perhaps because most network operators massively overpriced the service and failed to continuously innovate and evolve the service.

Today, 3G video calling is still in the same state as it was 10 years ago. For today's devices the resolution and frame rate of the video is far too low and picture quality on the large screens of today's devices is far from what people expect. In the meantime some network operators have even given up on the service entirely and have begun blocking the service for new subscriptions.

But I'm glad that others haven't given up and have continued to innovate. Facetime on mobile has reached some popularity, e.g. see my post from New York from back in 2011. Personally, I use Skype for smartphone and tablet video telephony. Over LTE and even 3G, the video resolution and frame rates are fantastic. These days, I'm seeing more and more people engaged in video calling, especially at airports. Still a niche when compared to the billions of voice minutes generated every day, I agree, but nevertheless quite mature and useful today.