VoIP: Some Numbers
IDC is out with a report this morning that projects the number of U.S. residential users at 3 million by the end of this year, 27 million by the end of 2009. Beyond the numbers, IDC is carrying the same tune that Jeff Pulver and many others in the industry are singing: Providers need to focus on services that make their offerings more than POTS over IP (let's invent a new acronym and call that POTSOIP):
William Stofega, senior analyst in IDC's VOIP Services Research program, is quoted in a company release as saying: "... Carriers will need to offer services that are compelling and affordable. The winners will use the flexibility of IP to design services that differentiate themselves from their competitors. However, it is important to remember that the market for VOIP services is still in the very early stages of development and carriers and equipment vendors need to plan for a marathon."
Here are two ideas that are sure to make VoIP customers happy:
--911 service that really works
--customer service that really works
And something else that's got to be dealt with sooner or later, too: The crazy quilt (and getting crazier) of state regulations governing the new phone services. The latest exhibit comes from Colorado, where the state House of Representatives on Friday failed to pass a measure that would have exempted VoIP from phone taxes. Not that the vote was terribly surprising: Most states are loathe to sail off into the future without some notion of how they're going to preserve their revenue stream. The debate in Colorado, as reported in the Rocky Mountain News, shows legislators are a long way from figuring out what ought to be done.
New federal telecom act, anyone?