The broadband telephony market, which saw 14.7 million subscribers in 2007, will nearly double in size by 2013, when the market is expected to have 28.4 million subscribers, according to a new report from JupiterResearch.
Cable operators will see most of this increase, the report found, with their VoIP subscriber base nearly doubling during the forecast period. Growth for over-the-top VoIP providers, on the other hand, is set to stagnate.
According to the report, "U.S. Broadband Telephony Forecast, 2008 to 2013," cable MSOs have maintained momentum in the voice service market by continuing to focus on competitive triple-play service bundles – 47 percent of cable VoIP subscribers said that bundling had a strong influence on their selection of a home phone service provider.
"Broadband telephony enables fixed service providers to integrate voice service features with other bundled services such as broadband, TV or wireless,” said David Schatsky, president of JupiterResearch. “At a time when consumers are increasingly cutting the cord and relying solely on wireless for voice communication, broadband telephony offers the best opportunity for fixed service providers to retain current voice customers or acquire new ones."
The emergence of new service offerings, such as those from AT&T and Skype, will continue to generate buzz within the market, JupiterResearch said. Even though AT&T’s U-verse Voice service has had a moderate impact on the overall VoIP market, it is an important market development, according to Doug Williams, an analyst and the leading author of the report.
"By rolling out a managed VoIP service in areas where it already offers circuit-switched voice service, AT&T validates the importance of integrated services across the bundle," Williams said. "However, AT&T may find it challenging to migrate existing voice customers to the VoIP platform, as those customers place greater emphasis on service quality and reliability when selecting a home telephone service provider."
JupiterResearch observed a few wild-card scenarios that could shake up the market for broadband telephony, namely the potential for Verizon to migrate all of its services within its FiOS bundles, including voice, to an IP platform, as well as new product offerings such as the Skype phone.
More Broadband Direct: