by Iain Thomson VNUNet.com
Use of retail VoIP services has more than doubled in the past nine
months to nearly 11 million users worldwide, according to
communications analysts Point Topic.?
The company said that there are now 7.2 million users in Japan, and
2.1 million users in the US. The growth is based on figures from last
summer which showed five million users worldwide.
Software-based VoIP systems, such as Skype and VoiceGlo, add another
5.9 million users to the pool, according to Point Topic, although it
admits that these are estimates.?
Skype claims that 100 million people had downloaded its software by
mid-April 2005, and that 35 million users have registered.
But the Point Topic report claimed that "many people download the
client and do not register, and many people who register never or
rarely use Skype".
"These users are contributing either zero or relatively little revenue
to network providers, although interconnect payments are made when a
call from a PC is terminated on the PSTN," said the analyst firm.
France is the biggest customer in Europe, but since UK services only
launched last month the numbers here are negligible.
In most cases VoIP is used as a second phone line, but the report
noted that Norwegian company Telio is having great success getting
customers to abandon traditional phones altogether.
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Copyright 2005 VNU Business Online Limited (UK)
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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: If you recall a few years ago when the
'dot com' thing was going on, and all sorts of claims were being made
about how 'internet usage was doubling every nine months or so' it led
up to a _masssive collapse_ not only for 'dot com' but for telecom and
other industries as well. I wonder if that will happen with VOIP in
the near future also? PAT]