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Cable MSO Telephony Services Still Gaining

Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology has proven to be the key market enabler for cable telephony services and subscriber growth, according to In-Stat.

Generally less expensive to provision than more traditional circuit-switched telephony, the increasing availability of VoIP services in North America was directly responsible for an almost two-fold increase in the number of North American subscribers during 2006.

"In a growing number of markets around the world, cable TV operators consider telephony service to be an integral part of their telecommunications service bundle," says Mike Paxton, In-Stat analyst. "This has led to increasing service availability in North America, Europe, and in a few countries in Asia."

In-Stat's study found the following:

- Worldwide cable telephony subscribers increased to over 22 million in 2006, up sharply from 15.8 million in 2005.

- Cable telephony service revenues are also growing at a rapid pace and are projected to reach $10.4 billion in 2007, up from $7.9 billion in 2006. North America will account for two-thirds of the worldwide service revenues in 2007.

- In a few countries, the number of VoIP-based cable telephony subscribers has already exceeded the number of circuit-switched cable telephony subscribers. One of these countries is the U.S., where there are over 6.6 million VoIP subscribers and just 2.8 million circuit-switched subscribers.

- Cable telephony's growth spurt in the U.S. market has been a relatively recent phenomenon. According to a U.S. consumer survey, forty-two percent of all U.S. cable telephony subscribers signed up for the service during the past 12 months.

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