The VoIP services market generated a hefty $20.7 billion (€13.9 billion) in revenue in the first half of 2009, with the economic crisis failing to curtail its growth, Infonetics said.
The global residential VoIP subscriber base increased 14% over the year, with the market on pace to reach 225 million residential and SOHO VoIP subscribers by 2013, the researchers said.
Yet currently just three operators – NTT, France Telecom and the US's Comcast – together hold nearly 20% of the world's VoIP subscribers.
Demand for VoIP services is growing fast in APAC, as well as Central and Latin America, but the largest VoIP opportunities still lie in North America and EMEA.
“On the business VoIP side, while managed IP PBX revenue growth has slowed in line with IP PBX shipments, we are expecting IP Centrex and hosted UC service revenue to grow 26% year-over-year in 2009,” Infonetics researcher Diane Myers said.
Meanwhile, Google’s explanation of why it blocks calls to certain exchanges through Google Voice underlines the challenges facing providers of free or low-priced VoIP.
In its defense to the FCC over charges the practice violates net neutrality, Google revealed that it was forced to act after discovering that the top 10 prefixes generated more than 160 times the average traffic volumes.
But Google said it had changed its policy regarding “traffic pumping” numbers such as adult chat lines, and now blocks calls on a per-number basis, resulting in fewer than 100 numbers being blocked.