Feeds

VoIP heads for the big time

European land grab

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

VoIP applications and services, which allow residential customers to avoid call charges, could grab up to 13 per cent of the European phone market by 2008.

This is one of the key findings of a new Analysys report Voice Communications: From Public Service to Private Application. It estimates that more than 50 million broadband users could be taking advantage of Private Voice Applications (PVAs) within four years.

PVAs support voice communications over existing broadband connections, bypassing the existing PSTN network. As a result, voice services are decoupled from the underlying networks. Although the economics of the system are compelling, its adoption will be limited by structural issues.

"One of the big ceilings for adoption of PVAs is the level of broadband take-up," Stephen Sale, co-author of the report, told ElectricNews.net. "One of the reasons that Skype has taken off is the fact that there's broadband infrastructure there to support it."

PVAs can be offered through various technologies, over both public and private networks. The services can be offered by a wide variety of players, not necessarily by the companies who own the telecommunications networks.

For example, the PVA offered by Skype Technologies enables people to make calls using a PC and a headset, instead of using a handset. Skype's software has been downloaded more than 32 million times since its launch in August 2003. Such applications are typically used to make longer calls to friends and family, which is the core telephony business of fixed-line incumbents. When PVAs are combined with increased mobile usage, consumers may decide that they don't need a PSTN subscription account.

In revenue terms, the impact on telecom operators could be drastic. Incumbents could potentially lose over €3.3bn of subscription revenues in 2008, and cumulatively about €6.4bn over the period between 2004 and 2008.

The report predicted that the telecommunications industry would move from its current form, where each geographic area had its own telecom operator, to a situation where VoIP services are offered around communities, segments and brands.

Ultimately the amount of money earned by the telecommunications industry would drop, because of the decrease in toll revenues. The only ray of light for the industry is that other subscription services could be added into the mix, offering potential new revenue streams.

Research from consultancy firm Mercer has suggested that internet-based phone services could be in use by up to 30 per cent of homes in the UK and the US in the next three years.

Last month, Comreg, Ireland's communications regulator, said it planned to introduce a new "076" prefix for Ireland, which would allow conventional landline users to call people who use Internet-based VoIP services. In some cases, consumers and businesses wishing to switch from a traditional phone service to a VoIP service will be able keep their old phone number.

© ENN

Related stories

Vonage: recipe for success?
BT spins prop on SME VoIP promo
BT's batphone swoops closer
Broadband wireless threatens 3G voice ambitions

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.