Report: Most cable-telephony lines circuit-switched, not VoIP

Increased use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) by cable-television operators will help boost cable's presence in the telephone-service market, according to a recent report by In-Stat (www.instat.com).

Feb 1st, 2005

Increased use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) by cable-television operators will help boost cable's presence in the telephone-service market, according to a recent report by In-Stat (www.instat.com). But today, most cable-telephony subscribers are using circuit-switched technology, not the packet-switched technology that VoIP employs.

The report, "Cable Telephony Service: VoIP Finally Shows Up," provides forecasts for worldwide cable-telephony subscribers, VoIP cable-telephony subscribers, and installed cable-telephony lines through the year 2008. It also forecasts cable-telephony service revenues and the growth of so-called Voice-over-Broadband cable-telephony subscribers over the next five years.

As more cable providers turn to VoIP during the next few years, total worldwide cable-telephony subscribers will pass the 14 million mark late this year, and grow to more than 22 million by the end of 2008.

"The use of advanced IP voice technologies is beginning to attract more cable operators to the idea of delivering voice services," says Mike Paxton, In-Stat analyst. "Indeed, the buzz surrounding VoIP telephony services has been constant during the past year, and virtually all leading North American cable operators are either investing resources to further explore VoIP's viability, or have actually deployed the service."

The report also finds that while there is a great deal of excitement surrounding cable-based VoIP services, of the 11.8 million worldwide cable-telephony subscribers at the end of last year, fewer than 500,000 are using VoIP technology.

Additionally, the long-anticipated "VoIP spike" in worldwide subscribers is unlikely to materialize, In-Stat says. VoIP's growth will be more of a steady rise, particularly this year and next, as the technology works its way into more hybrid fiber-coaxial networks.
-Patrick McLaughlin

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