Voice content drifts from landline to online as old business model crumbles
ECM Plus – According to new figures from research by Point Topic, voice over IP is now becoming increasingly important to service providers and is also ratcheting up penetration in the residential market.
The research also found that over 22 percent of residential broadband lines around the world came bundled with a VOIP capability. “Passing 100 million subscriptions by the end of 2009, VoIP has continued to grow adding another 12 million subscribers in the first half of 2010” commtentd Point Topic’s senior analyst John Bosnell.
However, Point Topic said there were some markets where it was difficult and not generally cost-effective to subscribe to broadband without a VoIP service thrown in. It cited France Telecom, which currently offers one relatively low-speed consumer stand-alone broadband subscription, but a wide range of higher-speed bundles.
“France is a stand out example” Bosnell asserted. “Fierce competition has been encouraged and ISPs like Free, who only offer bundled services which include VoIP, have helped drive consumer perception towards the expectation of low cost add on services from their ISPs and VoIP is relatively easy and cost effective solution.”
Point Topic’s research noted that this trend had meant that over 70 percent of French households now have a VoIP service available to them and saturation is now a significant factor. Other markets have more headroom, the survey found.
“China, the largest broadband market, has only one in 20 broadband subscriptions with a VoIP bundle” Bosnell added. “The US which is currently the largest VoIP market in absolute terms is closing in on one in three mainly due to cable companies offering their customers a voice service based on VoIP. So there’s plenty of headroom there and around the world.”
By year end 2009, just under $15bn per annum was being generated by VoIP most often as part of a bundled subscription. Point Topic said this was almost double the crevenue generated by Security, the next nearest value-added service.
Concluding, Bosnell said: “There’s no reason to believe growth is going to slow significantly until a market reaches saturation,” adding “and we could reasonably expect to see 200 million subscribers by 2015.”