Growth already, growth to come. That's a fairly quick and dirty summation of the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) market for both the recent past and immediate future, if word from Future Market Insights (FMI) holds true. It's never just so simple as “growth and more growth,” of course, as the market will not only see some likely expansion, but have some potential points holding it back from the fullest expansion.
The FMI report covers the decade from 2015 to 2025, and “growth” is indeed the watchword on this front. Just in 2012, the corporate consumer portion of the global VoIP market measured 98.9 billion subscribers, which was about $43.27 billion worth of the entire global market. That's impressive enough, but FMI projects only expansion from there. By 2020, it expects a total subscriber base of 204.8 billion, which will similarly raise revenue to about $86.2 billion.
It only gets more noteworthy from there, as the computer-to-computer segment steps in and notes that it contributed $20.74 billion in revenue in 2012 alone, a number that's expected to hit $24.74 billion just seven years later in 2019. Further growth is only expected from there as more service providers are changing the fundamental network architecture from circuit-switched to packet-switched, a development that means a move away from standard telephone connections to VoIP services that instead turn to cellular networks.
One of the biggest issues slowing the market is that the residential consumer hasn't been getting into VoIP the way it might. However, the growing mobile workforce is making it increasingly necessary to make long distance or even international calls from home or other locations, and thus VoIP might catch on sooner than expected. Issues of regional government regulation are also hampering the market, but again, that increasing residential demand may force local government's hand.
The issue of Internet service may also play a role; in many parts of the country, even some major cities, high-speed Internet access is often heavily regulated and subject to bandwidth caps by the companies offering the service. That's changing, of course, particularly as 5G makes its approach, but it's still going to be an issue for many going forward. People who want to use VoIP likely won't be able to if speeds and bandwidth constraints get in the way, and that's going to further crimp the market as a whole.
Still, it's clear that there are some big gains afoot. Corporate users who often have access to the best in connectivity will drive this market for some time to come. While the residential market has some catching up to do, it's a safe bet it will be a major player before too long.
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