More Broadband Lines Bundled With VoIP

  • VOIP
LONDON, U.K. -- Voice over IP is increasingly important to service providers and is significantly penetrating the consumer market, according to industry analyst Point Topic. “Over 22 percent of consumer broadband lines worldwide now come with a voice over IP service. 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,” says Point Topic senior analyst John Bosnell.

In some markets, subscribing to broadband without a bundled VoIP service is difficult and not even cost-effective. France Telecom, for example, offers only one stand-alone broadband subscription, with a low broadband speed. Consumers who want higher broadband speeds must choose a bundled offering with VoIP. In France, Bosnell says, "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 a relatively easy and cost-effective solution.”

Because more than 70 percent of French households now have VoIP available, the VoIP market there is nearly saturated. However, in China, the largest broadband market, only one in 20 broadband subscriptions is now bundled with VoIP. In the U.S., currently the largest VoIP market, only about one in three subscribers have VoIP, mainly from cable company offerings. "So there’s plenty of headroom there and around the world,” says Bosnell.

At the end of 2009, VoIP services generated just under $15 billion a year, usually as part of a bundled subscription. This is almost double the revenue generated by security, the next most valuable value-added service.

Bosnell concludes, “VoIP has come a long way in a short time. It’s attractive to consumers, as it is priced very competitively in terms of subscription and call charges. It’s attractive to operators, as it’s a straightforward implementation that offers a chance for them to differentiate their services. There’s no reason to believe growth is going to slow significantly until a market reaches saturation, and we could reasonably expect to see 200 million subscribers by 2015.”

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