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BT clocks up a million VoIP customers

Or rather a million registrations...

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BT is claiming that over 1m punters have signed up for their VoIP services BT Broadband Talk and BT Softphone, but with the latter being a free download it’s hard to tell how many paying customers are using the service.

The company is certainly pleased with the result, which is 6 months ahead of projections, but what proportion of those customers have paid for the service remains unknown.

Giving away soft services is an easy way to rack up figures: right now there are almost 8m Skype users on-line. But how many are actual paying customers remains open to debate, at least we know Skype's numbers are active users, as opposed to accounts which have been created but remain largely unused, something we can’t be certain of with BT's figures.

But this does represent a trend towards customer acceptance of VoIP services.

Equally interesting is the fact that if both parties involved in a call are BT Broadband customers then there is a quality of service promise (what they call Hi-dS: high definition sound), and it will be interesting to see how customers rate the importance of quality of connection, not to mention if they are willing to pay for it in the future.

BT's ultimate aim is VoIP everywhere, with QoS and an IMS infrastructure: their “21st Century Network”; this announcement is one more step along that long and dangerous road, and one step closer to the considerable rewards at the end. ®

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