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The traditional home phone number could become a thing of the past as more and more people opt for fixed-mobile services and VoIP.

That's according to analysts at Jupiter Research, who say location will cease to be important for either making or receiving telephone calls. Indeed, its research has found that three in ten consumers are interested in using their mobile phone in place of their home telephone.

"VoIP will convert the home telephone from analogue to digital, and once digital, the home telephone number will become unfixed," Jupiter's Ian Fogg said. "It will no longer only be available just at home, but also in the office, in internet cafes, and even on mobile phones. VoIP telephony is attractive to consumers because services are digital, cheap, and flexible."

Earlier this week, IDC published its latest outlook for VoIP predicting that internet telephony will be the "next generation of technology to change the telecommunications landscape". Although the market for consumer VoIP is still in its infancy, IDC predicts that the number of residential VoIP users in the US will mushroom from around 10m today to 44m in 2010

IDC reckons that "mobility, simplicity, and on-demand telephony" are top of the list of trends that will drive growth in consumer VoIP services.

"The opportunity for an alternative phone service combined with simple setup and hardware requirements is what will make VoIP a practical addition to homes," said the research outfit.

"The potential for VoIP to combine with mobility will provide alternative service choices and devices that give users the experience of being able to communicate anytime, anyplace, anywhere."

Tiscali has become the latest outfit to join the world of VoIP following the launch of its NetPhone internet telephony service. ®

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