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27m VoIPers by 2009

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The use of broadband telephony in the US is expected to explode over the next four years as home users hop on the VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) bandwagon.

Those clever boffins at IDC reckon the number of residential VoIP users will rise from three million at present to 27 million by the end of 2009. Despite its slow start, VoIP is beginning to take-off with punters hooked on the cheaper call charges on offer.

Snag is, VoIP ain't just about a "cheap replacement" for traditional voice services. Senior IDC analyst William Stofega reckons VoIP providers need to offer services that are "compelling and affordable".

"Carriers will need to educate residential users on the features and functions of VoIP service to avoid a pricing war. Integrating applications and enabling convergence are critical capabilities that carriers will need to offer in the years ahead," said IDC. ®

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Build a business case: developing custom apps

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