In Europe, VoIP is Taking Over

September 22nd, 2008 by · 1 Comment

Telegeography reported today that the transition to VoIP in Europe is moving very rapidly now.  At year end 2007 there were 25.3M voip users, and by year end 2008 that number is expected to exceed 37M.  Penetration rates are all over the map though.  In France 43% of households are now using VoIP, while in Spain that number is only 2%.  But wow, 43%?   That’s huge!

When broadband penetration started approaching 50% people started to talk about the imminent death of dialup.  Is is time now to huddle around the deathbed of fixed line voice in France?  And soon thereafter in the Netherlands and Norway?  Eventually, but I suspect the ‘long tail’ on fixed line voice will last longer than with dialup.  After all, broadband was a huge improvement over dialup in terms of user experience, whereas so far VoIP is largely a replacement service whose improvement has to do with cost and price only.  That may change, but not so much yet.

Well, it had to happen sooner or later, losses of fixed line voice in the USA have been steadily increasing as well although penetration rates aren’t so high.  In a few weeks, we will no doubt hear more from Verizon, AT&T, Qwest, etc on the steady drain, but I doubt we will see an acceleration.  The amazing acceleration of European VoIP adoption has everything to do with competition, i.e. there’s just more of it than there is here, and the incumbents have been forced to respond.  By comparison, on this side of the Atlantic we are contemplating the death of over-the-top VoIP providers.

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Categories: VoIP

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1 Comment, Add Yours!

  • Alfred J. Beljan says:

    I’ve been using Vonage in PA and FL for over two years now and have no problem with the service – the only downdraft being when you have a question, you have to go thru foreign operators in India or Philapines or Chile – but their English is improving.

    the biggest advantage of Vonage is that it’s a heck of a lot cheaper….

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