The Federal Communications Commission has released a report providing details about telephone subscription information within a three-year period ending June 2013. It revealed that nearly half of wireline telephony customers in the U.S. are using some form of VoIP, but that 38 percent of that population is not buying service from traditional carriers such as AT&T and Verizon.
A summary of the report and its findings comes courtesy of Whir hosting and cloud services. During the period ending in June last year, Whir says the report shows that VoIP subscriptions (excluding Skype), where people could make and receive calls across an Internet connection, increased 16 percent in the U.S. This is in contrast to growth in the mobile telephone market which showed only a three percent growth over that same period. Furthermore, retail switched access-line subscriptions decreased by 10 percent in the same period.
Although the growth in the VoIP market appears to be booming, there is the caveat that the FCC found subscription numbers as much higher for individual consumers than it did for businesses. The report shows that, in June 2013, the VoIP business connections accounted for only seven percent of the total telephony market. VoIP residential, however, accounted for 27 percent of the overall market.
Whir speculates that the disparity in adoption could be a result of the difficulty of setting up business VoIP accounts. No matter how simple companies may make the setup, businesses will almost always have more lines, more phones, and ultimately more complexity than individual residences.
Regardless of who is adopting VoIP, though, telecoms may find themselves in danger of losing even more customers over the next several years if the trend continues. Individuals are apparently already seeing the benefits of VoIP, and as installation of such services for large groups becomes even easier, more businesses will likely switch to VoIP services as well. This could create a situation that is similar to what callers experience now but with Internet-based services instead of traditional landlines — “another system based on a different technology but with just as little competition,” Whir says.
That said, with an abundance of free offering such as Skype, the marketplace is also becoming difficult for VoIP providers. Service providers such as Vonage, though, are striving to compete by providing services to small and medium-size businesses. As they make it easier for businesses to establish their own multi-phone connections and continue to offer them premium features at competitive prices, business adoption could continue to rise and competition could find a niche in which to thrive.