VoIP has been around since the turn of the century. The protocol signified a shift in telecommunication, which happens over and over again as our technology progresses (think of the 20th century).
Now, as cell phones become more sophisticated gadgets, the Internet is a highly demanded feature for mobile technology. It's no wonder the "top percentage of mobile users in the world" are consuming nearly 70% of mobile broadband bandwith (Droid-life.com). In other words, smartphones let you watch Netflix or tether your laptop for a mobile network.
It's also no wonder that combining Internet and mobile communications is inevitable. VoIP is working its way up as a viable alternative to expensive voice plans over cell networks. If you've got VoIP on your phone and WiFi nearby, you shouldn't have to pay for the data sent across a network your cell carrier doesn't own. This is exactly the premise of Republic Wireless.
The number of mobile VoIP users is expected to have increased from 9 million in 2010 to 29 million in 2011, according to market research from NPD In-Stat. Senior Analyst Amy Cravens says, "While VoIP is a well-defined market, mobile VoIP is still in its infancy, with most offerings only being developed over the past several years, and because it’s in its nascent stage, there are significant opportunities for companies to develop the market." And you thought Republic Wireless was just being nice.
If I hadn't gotten my smartphone with a family plan and Sprint's unlimited data, I'd be far more tempted to go with VoIP-based calling carriers in the next year. I guarantee there will be more soon.