There are those who believe that Mobile VoIP is the next best thing, or is the current big thing. Some even take it to the extreme, thinking mobile video chat is going to hit next and will cause the usage of video calling to increase. I am not one of them.
Mobile video calling has so many problems that need to be fixed and it's going to take more than this year to overcome them. My belief is that we will see video calling rising, but not on mobile.
There are two products that make sense to have video calling, in both technical and practical aspects: Laptops/notebooks on one hand, and hardware-based devices such as videophones or room systems on the other.
Room systems have been with us for quite some time now. For years, companies like my own developed and sold equipment that caters to this specific market. It's a small one at best today, but it is steadily growing. With all the talk going on now about reducing travel costs, video telephony might offer a partial solution to enterprises implementing video conferencing.
Laptops and notebooks are a new for the video conferencing industry. Desktop video telephony is just starting and companies are coming out with products to cater to this market - just look at Dell's latest cooperation with Sightspeed. With these devices, the solutions are software based, making them somewhat inferior to the hardware based devices, but still quite good when you need video communications.
This is where video calling will happen in 2009 - a proven market, with actual products that are being used daily by many of us out there. While mobile video may sound enticing, we will have to wait a bit more for it to be useful enough for most.