Use of voice over IP (VoIP) services is rocketing, with an 83% increase in subscribers to retail VoIP services worldwide last year, new research has revealed.
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Market research from analyst firm Point Topic shows the number of VoIP subscribers soared from 10.3 million at the start of 2005 to more than 18.7 million by the end of the year.
The figures showing increased consumer adoption of the new technology following research published by analyst Vanson Bourne and storage firm Zycko in March, which found that more than half of 3,000 enterprise IT managers were considering a move to converged voice and data systems this year.
Point Topic has estimated that more than 4.7 million are now paying for PC-to-phone calls through the Skype service, which also offers free PC-to-PC calls between its users.
The total number of paying subscribers to VoIP via either Skype or retail providers is now more than 23 million, compared with 14.4 million a year ago, the Point Topic research shows.
The analyst predicted significant growth in the VoIP market in 2006, particularly in the US and Europe.
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