It’s become a cliché to say that VoIP is the future. Everything seems to be migrating to over-the-top services offered over the Internet these days; even TV is moving to OTT with services like Netflix. But a study by WhichVoIP shows exactly how much VoIP technology is growing.
“The capabilities and cost-saving advantages of VoIP over traditional telecom are driving its rapid acceptance as the new standard for voice communications,” Mike Bragg wrote for WhichVoIP. “However, unlike past technological advancements, VoIP is seeing growth not only in advanced economies or specific sectors, but on an international scale. In fact, some of the fastest growing regions are those that traditionally have had less developed infrastructures. So where is this hot industry growing the fastest, and where is it facing resistance? We have crunched the numbers to get a truly global picture of the bright future of VoIP.”
The whole VoIP market is expected to reach $82.7 billion by 2017, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.46 percent. The number of OTT subscribers grew by 550 percent in 2012 and is expected to reach one billion by the end of this year. Voice traffic worldwide grew by five percent to 490 billion minutes of talk time, with VoIP accounting for 34 percent. Mobile VoIP will grow to sales of $36 billion, which should strike fear into mobile carriers.
In terms of worldwide adoption, the U.S. is the VoIP leader, with a 10.15 percent growth rate and the most subscribers, 32.09 million in 2012. On the other hand, the country has the lowest percentage of VoIP penetration, with only 30 percent of broadband users signing up for VoIP. Japan came in second place, with 28.92 million subscribers, and 77.5 percent of the country’s broadband subscribers signing up for VoIP. The country also has the highest number of mobile VoIP subscribers, with 68.2 percent of smartphone owners using an OTT service.
France came in third with 21.19 million subscribers, but with 93.6 percent of broadband subscribers signing up for VoIP.
The survey shows that a lot of technology adoption comes from outside the U.S. On the other hand, a number of countries, including Pakistan, Brazil, Ethiopia and others limit or ban outright VoIP technology to protect their native telecom industries.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson