An Overview of the Global VoIP Market

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An Overview of the Global VoIP Market An Overview of the Global VoIP MarketAn Overview of the Global VoIP Market


19 September 2014

A new market report has been released by Transparency Market Research which shows that the value of the global VoIP market has grown significantly over the past few years and is expected to continue growing for the foreseeable future. In 2013, the global market for voice over IP services was valued at USD 70.90 billion. By 2020, this number is expected to reach USD 136.76 billion. In 2013, Europe was the continent that brought the most revenue to VoIP service providers around the world, while the Asia Pacific region is expected to become the fastest growing market in the world for VoIP services until 2020.

What is Driving Growth in the VoIP Market?

One of the biggest growth factors in the worldwide VoIP market is the increasing adoption of Internet-enabled mobile devices by both individual consumers and corporations. Devices such as smart phones and tablets now support a variety of Internet telephony applications, with many new ones being developed at the present moment. Anyone that wants to make calls through their device's Internet connection now has dozens of applications that they can use.

VoIP services have gotten more affordable in both consumer and business markets. Prices vary depending on the type of services sold, but remain very affordable when compared to other telephony solutions, like traditional landline phones. Some VoIP service providers even offer basic services completely free of charge, only charging their subscribers for "premium" features such as international calling. Corporate consumers are increasingly drawn to Internet telephony solutions not only because of their low monthly costs, but also because they generally lack the high setup and maintenance costs that are associated with traditional landline communications solutions. Many new start-ups choose VoIP services as their main telephony solution and existing corporations are also making the switch.

In 2013, the biggest contributor to revenue in the market was from hosted business communications services. This industry segment contributed to 35.8% of the whole revenue that was generated by corporate consumers. The biggest subscriber base was corporate consumers that use managed IP PBX solutions.

Challenges for VoIP Service Providers

Service providers have seen good growth in markets such as North America and Europe overall, but face challenges in some emerging countries. In many places, a lack of quality infrastructure and limited bandwidth has hampered the growth of Internet telephony services. These obstacles will need to be overcome, as doing so is crucial for providers who want to enter the market or expand their services in emerging countries.

Different Types of Internet Telephony Services

VoIP services can be provided to consumers and businesses in different configurations, such as computer-to-computer, computer-to-phone and phone-to-phone. It is the computer-to-phone industry segment that has been the largest in 2013, accounting for 37.9% of all subscribers. Despite this, phone-to-phone services, especially mobile VoIP, are expected to grow at an annual rate of 14.7% until 2020. Even though the computer-to-computer sector is currently strong, it is expected to get minimum growth in the coming years. This limited growth is explained by the fact that demand for mobile services is at an all time high among individual and business subscribers. As many more users are accessing the Internet on smart phones and tablets, the demand for services that run on desktop computers is expected to be replaced by one for services that can run on mobile devices.

What Types of Calls Are the Most Popular?

If we look at the types of calls being made, the market can be divided into two big categories: domestic and international long distance. In 2013, the segment composed of international long distance VoIP communication services has been the biggest in the market, both in terms of number of subscribers and total generated revenue. 54.9% of all subscribers to voice over IP services were using international long distance services in 2013 and this segment is expected to have a revenue market share of 62.3% in 2020.

The popularity of international long distance services that are based on Internet telephony isn't surprising when one considers the fact that it is able to offer calling rates that are often several times lower than what traditional telephony providers would charge. Many providers now charge a low monthly rate for unlimited calls to a large number of countries, allowing subscribers to call around the world without having to worry about per-minute costs.

Global Popularity of VoIP Services

In 2013, Europe was the region that led the global VoIP market, both in terms of revenue generated share and the amount of subscribers. It was followed by the Asia Pacific region. By 2020, it is expected that Asia Pacific will be leading the market in both revenue and subscriber base. At that time, it is expected that 41.1% of VoIP revenue and 40.2% of global subscribers will be found in the Asia Pacific region.

The foretasted growth in this region has been attributed to an increasing awareness of Internet telephony services among individuals and businesses in the region, as well as the development of high-quality infrastructure in more countries. Places that previously had limited infrastructure to support the broadband Internet access required to make VoIP services work are expected to have significantly improved by 2020, as many countries in the region see their economies pick up and the technology to build and maintain the infrastructure becomes more affordable.

Major players in the Internet telephony arena, such as Microsoft, Viber, Ring Central, AT&T, Sprint, Avaya, Vonage and 8x8 are all looking at Asia Pacific to expand their operations in the next couple of years. Competition between these large industry players has been very intense in 2013 and it is expected that it will remain so until 2020.

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