Look Towards A New Future

Aug 3, 2010

The Future of Consumer VoIP: Profitable consumer voice services now available at ReportsandReports

Dallas, TX: ReportsandReports announce it will carry The Future of Consumer VoIP: Leveraging Internet advances for profitable consumer voice servicesMarket Research Report in its Store.

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“It is important to distinguish between a profitable business that successfully sells VoIP services and a profitable VoIP business. Successful VoIP businesses are driven by other services the company offers, and by services that align with customers’ perceived needs – not by the VoIP business alone.”

In the early 2000s, telecom industry experts widely expected VoIP to change the dynamics of the voice communications business. But a decade later, the largest providers of consumer Internet voice services are, with one exception, conventional telecommunications companies. Some are pioneers and innovators, some are not. What they do share, however, is a market strategy that doesn’t rely solely on price.

This report provides an overview of the current state of the consumer VoIP market, examines VoIP business successes and failures, and explores how evolving IP communications – mobility, convergence, femtocells, cloud computing, ultra-fast broadband, and open devices – are opening new opportunities for successful consumer VoIP services.

Key Insights

  • The most profitable over-the-top VoIP providers are those that quickly leveraged their success into building their own networks.
  • Successful VoIP providers offer multiple communications services, as well as services aligned with the key needs of targeted markets.
  • Consumer VoIP is most successful in the most regulated (non-Communist) markets.
  • The core network is still a key opportunity for service providers to differentiate.
  • Telecoms have more natural advantages in the VoIP business than incumbency. They understand consumer expectations, and the migration to all-IP networks allows them to leverage network consolidation.
  • The pressure is on VoIP service providers to make VoIP mobile. Driven by growing mobile handset capabilities and broadband subscriptions, and continued high prices for international calls, the market for mobile VoIP is developing quickly.
  • The mobile handset is coming into its own as a platform for converged communications.
  • The rapidly growing number of mobile smartphones creates opportunities to integrate voice interaction into a wide range of applications, as well as creating opportunities for other types of intelligent, converged appliances – reinventing the home phone, for example. Amazon’s Kindle e-book shows the opportunity for mobile communications-equipped “appliances” at mass-market prices.
  • Consumers increasingly want services customized to their needs, preferences and priorities – giving VARs, software companies, and Internet companies, as well as voice service providers, opportunities increase their value to specific markets and customers.
  • Emerging markets present big risks, but offer big VoIP opportunities because many people in these countries are bypassing conventional telephone service for mobile and VoIP.

Use this report to:

  • Identify profitable business opportunities, strategies and markets for consumer VoIP.
  • Understand what works and what doesn’t in the VoIP business.
  • Analyze successful VoIP business models.
  • Examine the challenges facing VoIP service providers


  • Who are the winners and losers in consumer VoIP?
  • How many VoIP subscribers and broadband (wired and mobile) users are there in China, Europe, Japan and the US?
  • Who are the key VoIP players in these regions?
  • What are the opportunities in specific regions?
  • How can providers leverage Internet evolution into specific services that consumers value?
  • What are the challenges facing VoIP providers, and what are the strategies they need to meet them?

Table of Contents

The Future of Consumer VoIP

Executive summary 12

VoIP – The disruption that didn’t disrupt 12

Consumer VoIP provider strategies 12

The VoIP market in China 13

The VoIP market in Europe 14

The VoIP market in Japan 15

The VoIP market in the US 16

New VoIP opportunities in Internet advances 17

Choosing a path to consumer VoIP business success 18

Chapter 1 Introduction – VoIP: The disruption that didn’t disrupt 20

Summary 20

Introduction 20

Market disruption: more than technology change 21

Successful consumer VoIP businesses show opportunities 21

The future of consumer VoIP 22

Chapter 2 Consumer VoIP provider strategies 24

Summary 24

Free phone calls do not generate profits 25

Over-the-top consumer VoIP companies struggle for profitability 26

Vonage 26

Deltathree 29

Mobile VoIP delivers similarly disappointing results 30

Vyke 30

Truphone 30

New players 31

Ooma 32

The future of pureplay consumer VoIP 34

8×8 35

Traditional telecoms companies 38

AT&T 38

Comcast Cable 41

SoftBank BB 44

France Telecom 45

Skype 46

Chapter 3 The VoIP market in China 50

Summary 50

Introduction 51

Technology outlook 51

Broadband penetration & growth 51

Fixed voice line decline 51

Consumer VoIP penetration & forecast growth 52

Consumer voice providers, VoIP providers 54

Market drivers, challenges, barriers, and cultural and social considerations 55

VoIP opportunities 55

Regulatory climate 56

Chapter 4 The VoIP market in Europe 60

Summary 60

Introduction 61

Technology outlook 62

Broadband penetration & growth 62

Fixed voice line decline 63

Consumer VoIP penetration & forecast growth 64

European telecommunications industry landscape 65

VoIP providers 67

BT Group 67

Deutsche Telekom 68

Skype in Europe 70

France Telecom: lead change instead of following it 71

Iliad SA 72

OTE 76

TDC 76

European VoIP opportunities 78

Regulatory climate 79

VoIP regulation 79

Chapter 5 The VoIP market in Japan 82

Summary 82

Introduction 83

Technology outlook 83

Broadband penetration and growth 83

Consumer VoIP penetration & forecast growth 84

Consumer voice providers, VoIP providers 85

NTT 85

SoftBank 86

NTT affiliates 88


Cultural and social considerations 90

Opportunities 91

Challenges 92

Regulatory climate 93

VoIP regulation 93

Chapter 6 The VoIP market in the US 96

Summary 96

Introduction 97

Technology outlook 97

Broadband penetration & growth 97

Consumer VoIP penetration & forecast growth 98

Telecommunications industry landscape 99

Consumer voice providers, VoIP providers 100

Market drivers, challenges, barriers, and cultural and social considerations 102

Unique market opportunities 103

Regulatory climate 104

A history of strategic deregulation 104

The debate over Internet regulation 105

VoIP regulation 106

Chapter 7 New VoIP opportunities in Internet advances 108

Summary 108

Introduction 109

The network: the essential enabling infrastructure 110

Bundling is a natural evolution for network operators 111

Video services drive successful bundling strategies, and three is the best number 111

The challenge with bundling: profitability 113

Network openness is another avenue to success 113

Google validates the importance of the underlying network 114

Google’s history as Internet and VoIP provider 114

With the exception of Skype, Internet companies have not been successful with voice 115

Just saying you’re a consumer services provider doesn’t make you one 116

The size of Google’s opportunity depends on who the competition is 117

Femtocells: enabling infrastructure for extending mobile phone into the home 118

Femtocells enable more mobile phone calls – not just indoor mobile phone calls 119

Simplicity is key for femtocells 121

Incentives for adoption 122

Capabilities: 21st century VoIP is mobile 124

The obvious short-term opportunity: cheap mobile VoIP calling 125

The long-term opportunities: fixed-mobile convergence, new mobile services with integrated voice 126

C 127

apabilities: Convergence fights eroding profitability with added value and convenience 127

Opportunities through convergence 127

Challenges: market education, business alignment, and ease-of-use 129

Capabilities: Cloud telephony enables advanced functionality at basic prices 131

The personal PBX 131

Cloud telephony challenges: price, differentiation, and establishing the value proposition 132

Capabilities: Intelligent voice changes the focus from ‘how much it costs’ to ‘how much it does’ 134

Delivery: Apps that go beyond simple voice integration 134

Delivery: Open handset platforms offer the opportunity for competitivelypriced special-purpose appliances 136

Opportunities in medical applications 136

Hiding in plain sight: reinventing the home phone 137

Specialized device and app challenges: price, channel conflict, usability and security 138

The future: KDDI’s Polaris life device 139

Chapter 8 Choosing a path to consumer VoIP business success 142

Summary 142

Paths to success 142

Three building blocks for business models 144

Company examples 144

Consumer VoIP service examples 146

Chapter 9 Appendix 149

Bibliography 149

Index 155

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