Ofcom Signals Room for Improvement for VoIP in the UK


Ofcom

New figures released by the Office of Communications (Ofcom) show that the United Kingdom is failing to take advantage in Voice Over IP (VOIP) technology, despite a recent surge in the number of products available on the market.

The research concluded that despite an overall growth in the number of home users and business phone systems making use of VOIP, there was still room for improvement.

The figures suggest that just five per cent of people subscribe to IP telephony services, which leaves the UK trailing behind the likes of the Netherlands, which has a 20 per cent take up, and France, which boasts 26 per cent.

However, the report wasn’t all bad news, as it showed that the growth of subscribers increased by 27 per cent between 2006 and 2009.

Explaining the less than anticipated figures, a spokesman for Ofcom commented:
“VoIP services tend to be more popular in countries where there is high demand for international calls or where broadband is available to consumers without the need for a landline service.”

However, the figures are expected to increase, as the report demonstrates that the UK is the most connected country amongst those surveyed, with 70 per cent more citizens owning smartphones in January 2010 than January 2009.

The recent launch of Europe’s first satellite solely dedicated to broadband internet access is also expected to increase the rate of business VOIP uptake.

The European Space Agency (ESA) developed Hylas-1was successfully launched into orbit at the end of November from ESA’s spaceport in French Guiana.

The satellite, which weighs 2.6 tonnes and was constructed in Portsmouth, is bristling with cutting edge communications technology to make IP telephony more feasible for people across Europe. It also aims to bring high speed internet access in remote rural areas, referred to as ‘notspots’.