The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.
Global consumer VoIP usage doubles: Point Topic
New estimates from U.K. research firm Point Topic indicate that consumer usage of retail Voice over IP services has more than doubled in the past nine months. The company pegs the total number of global users at more than 11 million people, and that number jumps to 17.5 million when consumers using soft clients from companies such as Skype and VoiceGlo are added to the total. The largest retail VoIP market is in Japan where Yahoo! Japan has 4.5 million subscribers. The United States is ranked second with approximately 2.1 million subscribers. In Europe, France leads the retail VoIP race with approximately 1.2 million subscribers. Despite there being approximately 100 million downloads of Skype software, there are only about 35 million registered users. Point Topic also notes that there are only about 1.2 million SkypeOut accounts, those that can be used to call the publicly switched telephone network. Using a complex formula, Point Topic analyst John Bosnell estimates that there are between 5.3 million and 5.6 million "user equivalents" during a two-week period in the month of June. Adding in service provided by VoiceGlo, the total soft client user base increases to approximately 5.9 million. The research firm predicts that growth of retail VoIP will pick up considerably as operators like Verizon Communications, SBC Communications and Qwest move into the market to counter customer poaching from Vonage Holdings.
Bell, TELUS union battles go in opposite directions
The seemingly unending collective bargaining battle between TELUS Corp. and the Telecommunications Workers Union continues to unfold. There doesn’t appear to be a resolution in sight with the only possible outcome being a strike by union workers. It could all come to a head on July 22, the date that TELUS has set to impose its most recent contract offer. The TWU has refused to take the contract offer to a vote of its members. With respect to Bell Canada, the company announced earlier this month that it had come to terms with Entourage Technology Solutions Inc. technicians, which have been on strike since March 24. There has been a news blackout on the agreement, which has yet to be ratified by employees. An announcement could come as early as this week.
Last month Complete Technology Implementers (CTI) and newcomer ClearConnect International VoIP Services introduced the CTI VoIP Business Bundle. Reseller CTI, which is looking to expand its services across Canada and around the world, is banking that businesses will be enticed by the savings and the warranty offered by its new bundle.