The Yankee Group released a research report on VoIP which crowns the cable industry as the driver of VoIP adoption among consumers. Notable findings include Comcast surpassing Vonage during the first quarter of 2007 as the leading provider of consumer VoIP service, with 2.4 million VoIP subscribers. Yankee Group reports that VoIP penetration has surged to 9% of all U.S. households, more than doubling from a previous year’s 4% penetration. There are now 9 million VoIP subscribers in the U.S. At 167% growth in the past year, cable VoIP is the most responsible for growing U.S. household penetration. Cable VoIP represents 69% of all U.S. VoIP subscriptions, with pure play VoIP providers like Vonage and others holding 31% of the U.S. market. Yankee Group also outlined the growing role mobile will play in the future of VoIP, with close to 1 million dual mode VoIP handsets shipping in 2006.
These findings illustrate the growing role cable is playing as a force in telephony services. With its 2.4 million VoIP lines, Comcast is now in the top 10 of U.S. phone companies by number of lines, and may soon be in the top 5. These results demonstrate how cable is using the triple play effectively to gain telecom market share, much more quickly than telecom is gaining video share. Verizon released results recently that show them owning just over 500K pure video subscribers (not including DBS partner subs). Impressive to be sure, but way behind the penetration that cable is having with their core business. Cable has the lead for now, and VoIP powered triple play bundles is their racehorse.