A few years ago IBIS World published a case study of the fastest growing markets. In the final ranking, the VoIP market, which grew by 180% over 10 years, occupied the first place with a huge gap between it and second place. Since then, the market, of course, has grown, and now VoIP’s growth is not measured by such large figures.
But VoIP still claims to be one of the fastest growing industries of the decade. Given the high degree of saturation of the consumer segment, the main driving force for the development of the VoIP market is corporate users (who are starting to use applications with embedded communications) and the spread of mobile devices.
According to experts, this year the number of IP-telephony users in the world will exceed 150 million. To date, the global market for VoIP services is estimated to be worth more than $70 billion. Transparency Market Research (TMR), an American market research company, predicts a great future for the global VoIP market. According to their recent report, by 2020 the global VoIP market will grow to $136.76 billion, and the number of users will increase to 350 million .
The list of the top ten countries where VoIP services are most widespread includes the United States, Japan, France, South Korea, Germany, China, Brazil, the Netherlands, Canada, and the United Kingdom. When it comes to the rate of market growth, the list changes almost completely: The fastest growing market is in Lithuania, followed by Puerto Rico, Poland, Ireland, Brazil, Romania, Slovenia, Estonia, Spain, and the UK.
It is interesting that, although Europe is now leading in terms of profitability and the number of users of VoIP services, by 2020 more than 40% of these indicators will originate in the nations of the Pacific.
The factors that stimulate the development of the global market are usually the deployment of high-speed 3G and 4G networks, the development of network infrastructure, pricing policy, and the ease of implementation and configuration of VoIP.
It is important to understand that 90% of the VoIP market still belongs to the developed countries, and in the rest of the world there are many factors that prevent the spread of VoIP. Among them are several serious obstacles to the development of IP telephony.
First, in many countries, the telecommunications infrastructure is not yet able to support VoIP services. Second, the average income of the population is much lower than the developed countries, and the high level of poverty and the low penetration of personal computers mean that people often simply do not have the opportunity to use VoIP services.
Finally, in a number of countries, there are legislative restrictions on the use of VoIP technologies, the purpose of which is often to protect local telecom firms from competition. An example of this is in Brazil, where the largest operator, Brasil Telecom, tried to stop the spread of VoIP services. However, sometimes the reason is simply domestic policy. So, for example, in China, which shares with Germany the fifth place of the top ten countries with the largest penetration of VoIP services, the state is a monopolist in providing VoIP services.
However, it would be erroneous to think that the absence of legislative restrictions eases the struggle of telecom operators with over-the-top (OTT) services. Even in the US and Canada, in spite of the adoption of so-called network neutrality (prohibiting restrictions by service providers on any services and applications), there are no mechanisms for compelling companies to comply with these rules. And in South Korea, telecom operators are allowed to use any means to fight VoIP services—from complete blockage to additional charges.
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Source: VoIP Services Market Is Growing