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VoIP Adds Value to Broadband

The subscriber base of Voice over IP (VoIP) services worldwide will remain small compared to the numbers of conventional fixed and mobile phone customers, even by 2010. But in terms of relative growth, VoIP is -- and will remain -- a dynamic market. And the most successful business model for VoIP services uses its strengths to add value to existing broadband subscriptions. These are the key conclusions drawn by ABI Research's latest study of the residential VoIP market, "Global Residential VoIP Assessment." Consumers can get their VoIP services from a variety of sources: telcos and broadband providers using DSL, cable companies, or hosted providers that own no networks, such as the well-known Vonage. "For the consumer, VoIP's greatest benefit is that you can consolidate many things. For example you could have your email working with your voicemail, working with your telephone, working with your Outlook calendar. Such enhanced value services are a key drawcard." One of the largest residential VoIP deployments, accounting for a sizeable percentage of the world market, has been carried out in Japan by Softbank BB, a broadband provider that is also dipping a toe in the "telco TV" pool. Softbank is the subject of one of the case studies contained in the new report. "Such broadband operators trying to take market share away from the incumbent telcos have had some success, mostly leveraging an existing DSL network and adding VoIP to its data services. That's also the approach cable companies will take. In North America, because of the dominance of cable broadband, the battle will be between hosted VoIP companies and the cable companies. The cable companies will push VoIP to their existing customer base using cable modems."

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