VoIP Market Set to Jump

There are now more than 120 million VoIP subscribers worldwide, and it looks like the market has no plans on slowing down.

New research from Point Topic predicts that the global, fixed-line VoIP market will reach $40 billion annually by 2015. Data reveals growth in VoIP of 12.6 percent during 2010 and shows that there is plenty of headroom left for VoIP around the world.

The growth of VoIP has been bumpy but shows signs of acceleration,” said John Bosnell, senior analyst at Point Topic. VoIP has all the hallmarks of a classic substitution commodity. This is where customers look at the service that is delivered by a new product and decide that it meets, or exceeds, the service they are currently receiving and when it is appropriately priced they will switch from one to the other.”

France has been an important market to watch. In the past 10 years there, theres been a rapid shift away from PSTN. By 2010, more than half of telephony traffic originated on fixed networks in France started on a VoIP phone.

[Globally] we expect there to be over three-quarters of a billion fixed-line broadband subscribers by the end of 2015, in theory all of them are targets for VoIP,” said Bosnell.

Any projections about the size and value of the VoIP market should be treated with caution, however, according to Point Topic. At this stage in the development of a market there are so many variables that forecasting models can easily be off by a significant margin. For example, an increasing number of subscribers are doing without a fixed line telephone service at all, relying instead on mobile.

Point Topics analysis on VoIP has so far focused on fixed-line services; however, Internet telephony, where services like Skype are active, is a more enigmatic market.

It is highly fragmented and generally served by companies who dont or wont report regular statistics and revenues. However Skype, the market leader, has had considerable publicity recently and does report some numbers. From these we estimate that there are more internet telephony than VoIP users, with Skype alone accounting for almost 150 million regular callers,” said Bosnell.

Revenue generated is much lower. At the end of 2010, it had around 9 million paying users generating $8 per month on average.

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