The market for consumer voice over IP (VoIP) services boomed in 2006, industry watchers reported today, and Europe is leading the way.
The latest market estimates from In-Stat said that worldwide VoIP subscribers increased by 34 million in 2006, and that almost half of the new subscribers were located in Europe.
"Europe showed the largest gain in consumer VoIP subscribers, adding over 14 million last year," said In-Stat analyst Keith Nissen.
"The European VoIP market is being aided by local loop unbundling, the introduction of cable telephony and triple-play service bundles, and operator consolidation.
"In contrast, US wireline operators added only four million VoIP subscribers in 2006. No one seems interested in selling anything other than plain-old-telephone-services."
The In-Stat research identified France, Germany and The Netherlands as the countries with the largest VoIP subscriber gains in 2006.
The analyst firm estimates that the US will represent only 18 per cent of the global consumer VoIP market by 2011, when it is expected to be worth almost $44bn.
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