U.S. subscribers to
Internet-based phone services
rose 18 percent (to 18.2
million) during the third
quarter of 2006.
December 11, 2006
By Mae Kowalke
TMCnet Associate Editor
VoIP is well on its way to
becoming a standard household feature, replacing
or enhancing traditional phone service, although
the initial surge in excitement about the
technology may be waning slightly.
That’s what TeleGeography found
in its latest look at IP-based voice services,
AP said Friday. The research firm found that
U.S. subscribers to Internet-based phone
services rose 18 percent (to 18.2 million)
during the third quarter of 2006. Impressive as
that figure sounds, TeleGeography did note that
the growth rate for VoIP services slowed for the
second straight quarter.
Regardless of the slowdown, AP
said TeleGeography reported that the VoIP market
is now more than twice as big as it was roughly
a year ago. That claim is backed up by figures
showing U.S. VoIP revenues for the second
quarter of 2006 reached $732 million, up from
$298 the previous year.
Most customers probably know VoIP
better as the phone service provided by Vonage
(the biggest provider, with 1.95 million
subscribers) or their cable provider. The three
biggest cable providers of VoIP, AP said, are
Time Warner (1.64 million subscribers), Comcast
(1.35 million subscribers) and Cablevision
Systems Corp. (1.10 million subscribers).
By the end of this year, AP said
TeleGeography predicts, roughly 8.7 percent of
U.S. households will subscribe to VoIP services.
If that figure pans out, it will represent the
addition of 1.5 million subscribers during the
fourth quarter, boosting revenues for providers
to $2.6 billion—more than twice the 2005 total,
just north of $1 billion.