|From BBC, today:
“A third of people in the US and Europe will abandon phone lines in favour of wireless and broadband telephony come 2009, a report from Gartner has found.
Broadband telephony is gaining ground among consumers as people become more confident users of their high-speed net connections.It offers a cheap alternative to fixed-line voice calls.By 2009, 70% of voice connections around the world will be wireless, the report found.
This is due to falling mobile costs and greater penetration in countries such as China and India.
Market research group Gartner predicted that handsets would be available for as little as £14 by 2010.
Skype, which provides software for broadband telephony via the PC, has proved immensely popular with consumers, although Gartner predicts that VoIP-enabled telephones will eventually win out.
“With Skype lots of people have downloaded it but not that many people use it. It requires a computer and a headset and it is more likely that telephone services such as that offered by Vonage will be what catches on,” said David Neil, research vice president at Gartner.
The growing popularity of broadband telephony is both good and bad for traditional telephone companies, the report said.
Most are embracing the technology and will therefore gain some revenue from it but the fact that the prices for VoIP are much lower means it will not be a cash cow in the same way as fixed telephone services have been in the past.
There will be three billion mobile subscribers in the world by 2010, according to Gartner.”