The mainstream press is starting to get it
So, the mainstream media is finally figuring out that VoIP is important enough to write about.
Courtesy of the Associated Press finally sorting through their inboxes stuffed full of aging press releases, we now have an AP article making its way through the consumer outlets. The article cites the Telegeography study, which notes, hey, there's 2.7 million VoIP subscribers in in Q2 "05, versus 440,000 in the year ago period.
They don't do the math to note that it represents a 513 percent increase.
That AP article has since been picked up by Gannett, so USA Today (finally) has the story in their tech section. The Boston Globe and Washington Post are also carrying the same article, proving once again that many U.S. newspapers would rather farm out their technology coverage than do it themselves, and probably proving that most newsrooms (I've worked in several) don't have a tech reporter to speak of.
In addition, ABI Research has a report out that predicts the market for VoIP will remain small compared to Plain Old Telephone and mobile service, at least until 2010, and you have two vectors of prognostication, neither of which are mutually exclusive.
We know already that wireless penetration in the U.S. has grown rapidly, and now stands over the 50 percent mark. It's also been hollowing out the landline market by a few percentage points per year. Add to that the fact that wireless data users have passed the 47 million mark, and that The Yankee Group has predicted the wireless data services market will grow to approximately $14 billion by 2008, but remains a small fraction (4 percent) of the overall market for wireless services.
Wireless, and its meteoric growth, is analogous to the VoIP market in terms of adoption rates and market potential. So the notion that VoIP remains small compared to the well-established market for landline telephony is not an entirely fair comparison. Comparing the VoIP adoption curve to wireless and Internet uptake would probably be more interesting, and that's something I'm currently working on.
But the fact that the mass media are finally reporting on it is, ultimately, indicative of which way the tide is flowing.