Voice over IP the king of value added services
Point Topic has published data suggesting that value added services in the broadband market are worth some $25.7 billion worldwide in 2007, a 62% increase on the previous year.
Taken as a percentage of broadband revenue (which includes the monthly subscription) these additional services account for around 30% of the revenue generated. The value added services in order of their worth are: VoIP, security, online gaming, home networks, music downloads and video over broadband. VoIP and security products account for 56% of the value added services revenue.
The rise of VoIP, be it full telephone style services or voice communications using instant messenger apps, is a warning to traditional telephone operators and even broadband bundlers that use the calls element to subsidise the headline price. VoIP still has some way to go to match the reliability of the traditional telephone network, but the attraction is low cost of calls with people on the same VoIP network often able to call each other for free.
The figures for 2008 will be interesting, the worldwide credit crunch, may see people reigning in on the various broadband add-ons, but products like VoIP may actually benefit. We are seeing people doing a lot more shopping around to reduce their monthly broadband bill, with some people opting for cheaper products with lower usage allowances rather than giving up their broadband connection.