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Retail VoIP More Than Doubles in 9 Months

Point Topic estimates that over 11 million people were using a retail voice over IP (VoIP) service for at least some of their telephone calls at the end of March 2005. That�s an increase from just over 5 million at mid-2004 according to Point Topic research published in December 2004 and the Point Topic VoIP Application Source profiles in Broadband Money Makers. This number is based on a total of publicly available figures for VoIP subscribers, combined with estimates where subscriber numbers were not available. Many of these estimates are based on a conservative 10 percent growth from Q4 2004 to Q1 2005. The total does not include PC-based soft-client services like Skype and VoiceGlo. Of these 11 million, well over half, 7.2 million, are in Japan. Yahoo Softbank provides the majority of these services, and they come bundled with the broadband subscription. Users need to retain their standard line and pay line rental. This is a common feature with VoIP services, often driven by regulation surrounding emergency calls. So for many of the bundled VoIP subscribers (in numerical terms primarily in France and Japan), the VoIP service is essentially a second line that enables cheap or no-cost out-bound calls.

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