Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) is a methodology, which uses various data and voice transfer technologies such as IP telephony, voice over broadband and Internet telephony to provide communication services over a packet-switched network. VoIP services require conversion of voice signals into digital signals, which are then carried over the IP-based network. Calls can be made from regular telephones, VoIP phones, computers and mobile phones. VoIP services are implemented using various protocols such as H.323, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), Inter Asterisk eXchange (IAX), Real Time Protocol (RTP) and Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP).
The global VOIP services market is driven by industry participants focusing intensely on pushing VoIP solutions across corporate and individual consumer sectors. This has led to multi-pronged developments, especially in network infrastructure and cloud-based models.
Proprietary and open-source platforms are constantly witnessing the addition of newer technologies; hence consumers are demanding innovative solutions to reduce costs for availing communication services.
Future Market Insights (FMI) has studied the VoIP services market and provides a detailed analysis, offering an understanding of the driving forces behind the popularity of these services in the global communication industry. The report also provides analysis of the major sub-segments of the global VoIP services market for the next six years, including details of the industry drivers, restraints, market trends and market structure.
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Growth of the global VOIP services market is driven by technological advancements, leading to roll out of advanced networks and increased usage of these service over various networks. Business customers adopting cloud-based VoIP services due to cost efficiency and packaged service offerings is another factor driving growth. The market is further being driven by telecommunication players constantly diversifying to offer customers VoIP services.
In 2012, the corporate consumer segment registered 98.9 billion subscribers, accounting for US$ 43.27 Bn of the global VOIP services market in terms of revenue. FMI forecasts that the number if subscribers in the corporate consumer segment will increase to around 204.8 billion by 2020, accounting for US$ 86.20 Bn in terms of revenue.
The computer to computer segment of the VoIP services market registered revenue at US$ 20.74 Bn with 57.4 Mn subscribers in 2012. By 2019 however, this segment is expected to account for US$ 24.74Bn with72.2 Mn subscribers.
Phone to phone segment accounted for US$ 15.88 Bn with 35.9 Mn subscribers in 2012, and is expected to increase to US$ 44.78 Bn with 116.5 Mn subscribers by 2019. The computer to phone segment accounted for US$ 27.35 Bn with 58.3 Mn subscribers, and is projected to increase to US$ 56.56 Bn with a 128.3 Mn-strong subscriber base by 2019.
The individual consumer segment had a 52.7 Mn-strong subscriber base in 2012, and contributed US$ 20.70 Bn in terms of revenue. Of all, phone-to-phone VOIP services is the fastest growing segment, expected to increase rapidly in terms of subscriber base and revenue between 2014and 2019.
This robust growth is attributed to service providers transitioning from circuit-switched networks to packet-switched networks. Hence the market has been witnessing a shift from traditional telephony using CDMA or GSM technology, to VoIP services using cellular networks such as 3G and 4G.
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Some of the market restraints include low public acceptance of VoIP services in the residential consumer segment. However, with need to make international or long-distance calls growing constantly due to a moving working force or migrating population, the impact of low public acceptance is expected to decline to low over the forecast period. In addition, certain regulations or policies implemented by regional governments in emerging economies to protect or safeguard local telecom industry is hampering growth of the global VOIP services market to a large extent. The impact of this however, is expected to decline from high to medium and then to low by the end of the forecast period.
Presence of multiple players in the market causes price competitiveness, forcing companies to offer bundled services to differentiate their offerings. The key players in the global VOIP services market include Vonage Holdings Corp., Ring Central, Inc., 8×8, Inc., Nextiva, Inc. and InPhonex LLC. These companies focus on offering domestic as well as international calling plans with additional services such as emergency number (911) calling, speed dialing, call transfer, call blocking, conference calling and fax support. In 2013, AT&T, Inc. led the market, accounting for 7.5% of the global VoIP services market revenue.