Research points to growing worldwide need for IP telephony


The increasing importance to companies across the globe of voice over internet protocol telephony (VoIP) has been thrown into sharp relief by the latest research from technology market analysts, IHS iSuppli.

According to the new study, demand for subscriptions among businesses for VDSL – an interim high capacity upgrade available on some older copper cable networks – has increased significantly over the past year, with continued substantial growth almost certain by 2014.

VDSL – short for very-high-bite-rate digital subscriber line – grants greatly increased bandwidth capacity to those businesses not yet served by a broadband fibre-optic cable network. Without access to such high bandwidths – or ‘fatter pipes’ as IHS senior broadband analyst, Lee Ratliff, describes them – it becomes much harder for companies to switch to added value applications like business VoIP (internet-based business phone systems).

Missing out on VoIP can result in lost opportunities for considerable cost savings since calls through VoIP are often cheaper than those via traditional phone lines.

‘The telco broadband market is undergoing a seismic shift’, explains Ratliff, with ‘interest…waning within the industry for traditional broadband technologies like cable’. The need for additional applications including business VoIP, says Ratliff, demands that companies are ready to handle broadband rates of between 50 and 100 Mbps ‘which fits exactly with VDSL’s capabilities’.

According to IHS iSuppli, the number of new VDSL subscribers added in 2009 was 15.6 million worldwide. The number of new subscribers taken on in 2010 rose to a staggering 23.3 million. Incredibly, a further 60.1 million subscribers are expected to have taken up VDSL by the end of 2014.

The UK is one country where the future value of VDSL has been firmly recognised, with investment in the enhancement of its existing copper networks already having been undertaken by BT.