The Indian market for VoIP is second only to China amongst the Asia Pacific countries and, with ever increasing numbers of broadband users, has vast potential for growth.
biz-news.com blogger correspondent Jolsna Rajan gives her perspective on the internet communications outlook for the nation.
The VoIP market in India is growing phenomenally. It has picked up and is all set to become the second largest market in the APAC countries after China.
According to research by iLocus the carrier VoIP equipment market, softswitch and media gateways generated combined revenues of $2.2 billion in 2007, which represents about 24 percent growth over previous year.
And 1,079 billion minutes of VoIP traffic carried by service providers worldwide was reported as in 2007.
Of these minutes, 382.3 billion was local call volume, 614.4 billion was national long distance (NLD) call volume, and 82.6 billion was the international long distance (ILD) call volume.
"India’s telecom market is one of the most dynamic telecom markets in the world, presenting high revenue potential for equipment vendors," said Jahangir Raina, an analyst at iLocus.
"As carriers in India build next-generation networks that compete globally, we expect very rapid adoption of VoIP services not only in ILD but also in the domestic long distance segment. VocalTec is poised to meet the explosive growth expectations forecasted in our study."
The big players in the market like Skype, Jaxtr , Jajah continue to do well while it is interesting to note that entrants like Phonewala and TringMe have already begun to do exceedingly well.
The growth of these new companies is very evident:
- While Phonewala’s promoter Net4 recently got listed at BSE, TringMe is all set to capture a part of market share through its unique offering. Tringme has an embeddable flash widget that allows users to entirely get rid of their phone and call though a landline or even GTalk. Users only need a microphone connected to their computer. Calls are entirely free, and users can choose to keep their phone number private. It is already embarking onto expansion plans and is adding two more products in their portfolio, one of which is in the beta stage and the other will be a first of its own kind video product.
The Booming Potential
Lower cost is the most compelling reason to switch to VOIP service.
It is one among the deregulated markets in India. Hence competitors are increasingly finding ways to cut costs.
Also, consider the fact that CISCO alone has already shipped in excess of 200,000 IP phones to India. It also recently set up a pilot facility through their global manufacturing partner Foxconn for the production of internet protocol (IP) phones in Chennai.
According to the Telecom Regulatory Authorty Of India (TRAI) document by 2010 India will have 20 million broadband users. This may give VoIP just get the right boost it requires.
The Underlying Myth
Perhaps the biggest misconception about VoIP is that it is illegal in India. Recently TRAI has been providing measures to tackle this misconception among users and hence has recommended removing earlier restrictions by appropriate licensing fees or service tax as captured.
The second other assumption is that “low cost calls usually face problems with sound quality and reliability”. This misconception is yet to be tackled which would give a wide opportunity space especially with the corporate.
All these disadvantages will be overcome in time and by 2010, India will witness a much better consumer acceptance.