British-based research firm Analysys is out with a study today that claims that within four years, VoIP applications could claim 13 percent of the residential voice market in Western Europe.
The trigger, Analysis analysts (say that five times, and fast) is free downloadable enabling softwaresuch as Skype. Co-author Stephen Salesays that this availability "could unleash a significant structural changein the voice market by the removal of a large proportion of PTSN (public switched telephone network) revenues."
In fairly strong terms, the report goes on to recommend that incumbent operators recognize their vulnerability, and get busy creating targeted packagers to retain those valuable customers that might be tempted by VoIP.
It may not be right away, maybe more like a year or two from now, butI believe you will see an awakening on this side of the pond, as well.Look for acquisitions in the 2007-08 time frame.