Sandvine Research says that there are 1100 VoIP service providers. Sure sign that everyone believes they can win big in this market.
VoIP is in the midst of a major marketplace expansion as a myriad of players, from major brand telcos and cable companies to independent operators, ‘Mom & Pop’ local services and free Internet telephone application developers like Skype, all attempt to cash in on the craze.
Given that there are going to be about 3 million VoIP subscribers at the end of 2005, and if you take out nearly 2 million that will be shared by the cable companies and Vonage, well what you are left with is a million subscribers for about 1080 providers. Or about 925 or so per VoIP provider. That can’t be a business you can build the next WorldCon on? Can it?
Clearly, folks are now playing the price game, but at some point they will have to address the ease of use, and quality of service. The QoS is going to be an issue, since broadband service providers control that part of the equation. Early trends show that cable guys by shunning labels like VoIP have done well to attract customers. Anyway if we are going to build a “new phone network” those who can replicate the quality of the “old phone network” will win.
Aswath, keeps reminding us, isn’t this all old wine in a new bottle. Its not different thinking. So prediction – and a full year before Sandvine – by end of this year most of these wannabes gone, VoIP market cleaning up, and handful surviving and thriving. Remember ISPs.