Many customers who have recently chosen to recycle mobile phones and upgrade to a new handset may be aware of the benefits of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.
Now network operators have been urged to keep an eye on the growing influence and popularity of the transmission type by Ovum principal analyst Steven Hartley.
He stressed that "over-the-top" providers such as Skype are unlikely to completely replace the traditional networks because of the customer service offered by the latter organisations.
But Mr Hartley pointed out that the quality delivered by such features can vary "dramatically".
People who have recently undertaken mobile phone recycling may be able to use VoIP services on their new handset.
In his view, it cannot be classified a great experience yet, which means mobile phone networks are still a significant force.
"Mobile voice has improved its [quality of service] over the years so that it's now almost on a par with fixed - that's worth something," said Mr Hartley.
"Skype has improved too, but mainly over a fixed broadband connection."
But he went on to note that there is a risk that operators could be "cut out" when it comes to voice calls in the long-term future.
Mr Hartley suggested a greater threat to mobile phone networks' dominance comes in the form of potential regulatory changes.
The Ovum representative highlighted the situation in the US, where companies are trying to open up the networks to VoIP firms.
He explained that this could eventually affect the revenues of the major providers, particularly in relation to the net neutrality debate that is taking place on both sides of the Atlantic.
According to In-Stat, VoIP was launched on to the market five years ago and is predicted to reach close to 139 million users by 2014.
The company claimed the technology is on the brink of becoming a major part of international communications.