VoIP Gaining On Landlines

    April 17, 2007

As broadband penetration continues to grow, so will other services such as voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and Internet protocol television (IPTV).

 VoIP Gaining On Landlines
VoIP Gaining On Landlines
 VoIP Gaining On Landlines

"VoIP is a genuinely disruptive technology; it is already changing the telecommunications landscape," says eMarketer Senior Analyst Ben Macklin, author of the new Broadband Services: VoIP and IPTV report.

Internet telephony grew quickly in 2006, due to the increased adoption of high-speed Internet, more awareness of VoIP and bundled options from service providers.

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), VoIP users will account for one -third of all U.S. landline subscriptions in 2010, a 10 percent increase from 2006.

eMarketer projects that 46 percent of U.S. broadband households in 2011 will subscribe to a VoIP service, which would translate to 41.3 million VoIP subscribers.

"eMarketer expects approximately 30% of broadband households worldwide to subscribe to a paid VoIP service by 2011," says Mr. Macklin.

"In addition to paid subscriptions, millions of broadband households are regularly utilizing free Internet voice services from companies such as Skype, which recently reported 171 million registered users at the end of 2006, up nearly 100 million from a year earlier."

According to the TIA, 9.9 percent of all landlines in the U.S. were VoIP lines in 2006, and this will increase to 34.1 percent by 2010.

"Requiring considerably more bandwidth and technical know-how from service providers, IPTV is still in its infancy worldwide," says Mr. Macklin. "Nevertheless, it is on track to reshape a number of major industries."

Three areas are important for IPTV to grow and succeed, bandwidth, a workable regulatory environment and favorable TV market dynamics.

Currently France is the only country with over a million IPTV subscribers, so meeting the three requirements could be challenging.

"As a result," says Mr. Macklin, "unlike VoIP, which is likely to be universally attractive to broadband households, the growth of IPTV will be patchy across the globe."