Mobile consumer video calls will remain "just for fun" and take at least five years to become mainstream, industry experts have predicted.
Describing video telephony as "the Cinderella of telecoms services", research firm Analysys said the technology could generate annual revenues worth €1.5bn by 2007.
Chris Moller, author of The Future for Personal Videotelephony report, said that the arrival of mass-market broadband and video-capable mobile phones has brought a real opportunity to turn video telephony into a mass market.
"Increasing bandwidth should help to turn video telephony into a more desirable service and, critically, into one where demand is not constrained by specific needs," he said.
Although the initiative is currently with 3G operators, there is a "major window of opportunity" ahead for fixed broadband operators, according to the study.
"The range of possible applications using fixed broadband networks extends much further than what is possible on 3G, where limited bandwidth will limit the market to mostly fun applications," added Moller.
The report warns that broadening the appeal of services from the enthusiast to the general public will need investment in guaranteed IP bandwidth and simple fixed-to-mobile interoperability.
"The long-term stakes are very high, but who will come to dominate in this market will be determined by those that start thinking strategically about video telephony now," stated the study.
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