Thursday, February 23, 2006

Research and Markets Gives Their Update For VoIP 2006

Consumer VoIP shows great potential as it provides a cheap phone service, allows consumers to listen to their voicemail over their PC, schedule times when they cannot be reached, and get a phone number in an area code different from where they live.

According to R & M, for VoIP to continue growth in 2006, it must leverage value-added services rather than remaining as another mechanism to deliver cheap telephony. Providers must resist pursuing convergence for technology reasons alone. To succeed, the new mobile/fixed quadruple-play strategies must address consumers' needs, and complement existing services with clear new benefits.

The real power of VoIP over the long term is that any device with an Internet connection can now be voice-enabled. We believe that propositions marketed to customers revolve around value, instead of the enhanced features which VoIP may offer. Because of the importance of PSTN calling, the value proposition currently equates to bundles of fixed local or national PSTN calls, rather than free VoIP-to-VoIP calling irrespective of distance.

R & M foresees the following trends unraveling in 2006:

Leading device makers will not try to replace the phone by embedding voice into devices like TVs and appliances. Instead, they will try to enhance their devices with voice.

VoIP browsing and chat will change how customer service questions get answered

In areas where cell coverage is limited, such as planes, telcos will use a combination of VoIP and Wi-Fi to support telephony and conferencing services.

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