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Australian Residential VoIP Services Are Calling For More Bandwidth, Finds IDC

  • 28 June, 2005 15:14

<p>NORTH SYDNEY, June 28th, 2005 - According to IDC's recent study "Australian Residential VoIP Services: Calling for More Bandwidth" there were 8,000 paying residential VoIP subscribers in Australia at the end of 2004 and this will grow to almost half a million paying subscribers by the end of 2009. Despite this strong growth, the low residential broadband household penetration in Australia, of 16% at year end 2004, and the popularity of entry-level 256kbbps broadband, will undermine the usage of residential VoIP by Australian consumers.</p>
<p>Most residential VoIP providers recommend 512kbps as the minimum bandwidth for satisfactory VoIP service usage, but as of December 2004, 70% of broadband subscribers in Australia had 256kbps speeds.</p>
<p>"Today broadband service providers (BSPs) using unbundled local loop services have the upper hand over BSPs relying on Telstra’s wholesale offering, as they are able to provide the necessary bandwidth to maintain high voice quality, in spite of the bandwidth the wholesaler is offering," said Susana Vidal, IDC Senior Telecommunications Analyst.</p>
<p>IDC recommends that pure residential VoIP providers, BSPs and telecommunications companies should focus on the following to capitalise on the opportunities presented by residential VoIP:</p>
<p>OFFER COMPELLING ADVANCED FEATURES. Offering advanced features that customers cannot live without will increase the level of stickiness of the VoIP offering. Some of these features can include voicemail delivery to email, time-of-the-day call forwarding, work from home one-touch button, among others. With features like these ones, customers will be more reluctant to migrate to their incumbent provider when they begin offering VoIP.</p>
<p>TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TRADITIONAL VOICE OFFERINGS. Offering traditional voice plus VoIP, as in the Telecom Italia model, which includes up to six phone numbers per household, one in the public switched telephone network (PSTN), could help decelerate the decline in voice minutes revenue and hold the customer captive.</p>
<p>DO NOT WAIT TOO LONG TO LAUNCH AN OFFERING. If a telecom provider delays its residential VoIP offering, other players will enjoy the first-to-market advantage. Although traditional voice players have the majority of residential voice users, consumers are becoming smarter every time and their loyalties to one provider will decrease, as has happened in the broadband world.</p>
<p>There are already over 15 residential VoIP offerings in Australia including pure residential VoIP providers such as; Broadband Phone, engin and Freshtel; BSPs that also offer VoIP services like Astratel and People Telecom; and Triple-Play providers (voice, video and data) like Neighborhood Cable and TransACT. Also, all major BSPs and Telecom companies have already announced their future plans to launch their residential VoIP services, in a race not to be last.</p>
<p>"IDC expects that residential VoIP will not have a major impact on local voice revenues, but it will have an impact on international and national revenue. This is because most residential VoIP users will use VoIP as a secondary phone line, and not as a fixed-line replacement," added Ms. Vidal.</p>
<p>To purchase this study, please call Gary Clarke on (61 2) 9925-2226 or email</p>
<p>For press enquiries please contact:
Susana Vidal
Senior Analyst, Telecommunications
Phone: 61 2 9925 2223</p>
<p>Click here to view the press release online:</p>
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