Over 22% of consumer broadband lines worldwide include VoIP capability, according to market researchers at Point Topic. “Passing 100 million subscriptions by the end of 2009 VoIP has continued to grow, adding another 12 million subscribers in the first half of 2010,” senior analyst John Bosnell was quoted as saying in a news release.

As a value-added service, worldwide VoIP revenue is almost double that of second-ranked security, having generated more than $15 billion a year as of year-end 2009. Moreover, it’s becoming a competitive necessity for broadband service providers in some markets, according to Point Topic. More than 70% of French households now have VoIP service, for instance. “France is a stand out example. Fierce competition has been encouraged and ISPs like Free, who only offer bundled service which include VoIP, have helped drive consumer perception towards the expectation of low cost add-on services from their ISPs and VoIP is [a] relatively easy and cost-effective solution,” Bosnell elaborated.

While France and several other national markets are approaching VoIP saturation, others are nowhere near that point. “China, the largest broadband market, has only one in 20 broadband subscriptions with a VoIP bundle,” it’s pointed out. The US, which is currently the largest VoIP market in absolute terms, is closing in on one in three mainly due to cable companies offering their customers a voice service based on VoIP. So there’s plenty of headroom there and around the world,” according to Bosnell.

“VoIP has come a long way in a short time. It’s attractive to consumers as it is priced very competitively in terms of subscription and call charges. It’s attractive to operators as it’s a straightforward implementation that offers a chance for them to differentiate their services. There’s no reason to believe growth is going to slow significantly until a market reaches saturation and we could reasonably expect to see 200 million subscribers by 2015,” he concluded.

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