Value-added services to outstrip straight broadband access by thenJust a day after a forecast that voice services over broadband won't be a major market in Europe, analysts are saying voice may well end up the biggest value-added opportunity for broadband service providers.
The argument goes that as broadband - via cable or more commonly DSL - reaches a certain point, it becomes attractive for companies to enter the market for services that use Internet Protocol based on gaming, video consumption, music and voice.
A note from Juniper Research today said: "Although much attention has been paid to the more complex and 'sexy' value-added services like video-on-demand and online games, it appears that the biggest opportunity will be in voice services as broadband-IP voice takes over from traditional circuit-switched voice."
BT and other incumbents around the world have even been jumping on board the VoIP bandwagon of late, exploiting their broadband leadership and not wanting to just wait and see others come in and undercut them.
In the residential market, Juniper reckons online gaming that relies on broadband will rise from being worth $2.9bn globally in 2009, up from $600m in 2004. Music will grow to $2.12bn from $410m, video services to $5.71bn from $800m and voice over IP (VoIP) to $27.1bn from $4.29bn.
Business use will see online data storage move to $2.92bn from $310m in 2004 in 2009, Web hosting to $5.28bn from $2.67bn, virtual private network provision to $2.36bn from $550m and VoIP to $20.09bn from $4.54bn.
That puts the combined VoIP market at $47.19bn, compared to an estimate by consultancy Analysys this week of just €1.3bn in Europe by 2007.