Image of the famous Times Square Naked Cowboy.
An interesting new IDC Insight report reveals that although residential VoIP services have been available in Australia for the past four years, the uptake in naked DSL has been slow compared with Europe and the U.S.
The Insight report titled Residential VoIP: Let's Get Naked, attributes the slower uptake to several factors including lack of, and high cost of broadband, poor quality of service (QoS), number portability and high complexity. However, over the past 6-12 months, IDC notes there has been an upswing in consumers moving to residential VoIP services due to many of these inhibitors being overcome.
The biggest factor is the regulatory rules regarding Naked DSL, which enables service providers to offer VoIP over DSL copper lines without the unwanted bundled PSTN telephone line. "A key driver to this is the bundled sell of broadband and VoIP together and more recently, the offering of Naked DSL services, which is a business model that has been enabled via regulation more than technical capabilities," said David Cannon, Program Manager, Telecommunications at IDC.
Last time I tried to get naked DSL in 2005, my local carrier in Connecticut didn't allow it. I'd be interested to see if things have changed. I might have been willing to put up with some issues with Vonage (mostly due to Charter my cable ISP) if I could have switched away from Charter to naked DSL. Today, I'm back to AT&T DSL with AT&T's unlimited voice plan. Yeah, yeah, I know, a VoIP blogger not using VoIP at home? When I was single - Vonage. Married - AT&T PSTN. Answer your question? No? Well go read my 'Men are from VoIP and Women are from PSTN' article.
Other highlights from the Insight include:
- Throughout 2007, the Australia residential VoIP market enjoyed strong growth. At the end of CY07, there were an estimated 285,000 residential VoIP subscribers with an estimated value of A$40.67 million.
- IDC believes that the network based VoIP service will become the dominant residential VoIP service offering in Australia over the course of the next 24 months.
- Incumbent SPs in various countries across Europe and the United States have been offering Naked DSL services for the last two years in order to stymie their competitors' rollout of their own DSLAM infrastructure.
- Many consumers are now more reliant on their mobile phone than they are on their landline phone. A point of frustration for this type of consumer has been that in order to have a broadband connection, you still need to have an active PSTN line. This meant paying two access services fees when wanting only one service.
- Scalability and flexibility are synonymous with VoIP. The functionality that VoIP delivers, even at its early stages of maturity, supersedes that of the PSTN. This means that VoIP is ultimately a better product that also enables fixed/mobile convergence (FMC) and unified communications (UC).