Cable operators and Vonage are driving continuing growth in the US residential Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone market, according to In-Stat. According to data from the high-tech market research firm's US Residential VoIP Market Tracker service, more than 10.6 million US households now have at least one active VoIP user, up from approximately 9 million households at the end of Q3. The emergence of the cable operators as a dominant market force seems to have slowed the growth of the client-based VoIP market, with only Skype showing gains in this segment during the 4th Quarter.
The firm's service utilizes a combination of end-user research and market analysis to estimate usage and market share among all of the major service providers, network-based providers such as the cable operators, analog-telephone adapter (ATA)-based services providers such as Vonage and SunRocket, and client-based providers such as Skype, on an ongoing basis. Recent research from the service also revealed that:
- More than 61 % of active residential VoIP users reported that they had discontinued or replaced a traditional (non-VoIP) phone service when they got their VoIP service, including a whopping 76 % of those who use only a network/ATA-based service like those offered by the cable companies or Vonage.
- Skype's dominance of the client-based VoIP market has grown as its major competitors in this segment lost active users during the fourth quarter while it continued to show strong growth.
- The ability to bypass international tolls continues to be a big driver of client-based VoIP services, with users of client-based VoIP services reporting that 52 % of their VoIP calls are international long distance while network/ATA-based VoIP users report only 6 % of their calls are international long distance.
- The percentage of residential VoIP users who report that they use their service for business calls either in part or exclusively continues to rise with 51 % reporting that they use the service for both business and personal calls and 4 % reporting they use it exclusively for business calls.