After Slow Start, VoIP Is Taking Off In Europe

A TeleGeography survey estimates 35 million VoIP lines were in use in Europe by the end of 2008.

William Gardner

March 5, 2009

2 Min Read
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After a slow start in some European countries, voice over IP is finally catching on in a big way, according to a Thursday report on fixed VoIP lines.

In the survey of fixed-line VoIP usage, telecommunications market research firm TeleGeography said usage had jumped from 20 million consumers to 30 million between mid-2007 and mid-2008. TeleGeography estimated 35 million VoIP lines were in use in Europe by the end of 2008.

The firm's survey found that VoIP fixed-line penetration varies widely from country to country with, for instance, 50% of French households using fixed-line VoIP and less than 3% utilizing the IP technology in Spain.

"Europe may have a single market, but it's far from common," said TeleGeography analyst Patrick Christian in a statement. "While the uptake of IP telephony services varies widely, VoIP has been a powerful spur to innovation, even in some countries with relatively modest numbers of VoIP subscribers."

The Washington-based market research firm predicted strong growth figures for VoIP in Europe, where it expects the number of VoIP users to hit the 45 million mark by the end of 2009.

As for mobile VoIP, it has been slow to take off in Europe, although its adoption will likely spread beyond the relatively modest undertakings by Skype and some smaller VoIP providers. Skype has been offering its VoIP service on its mobile 3 Skypephone for several months in a handful of European countries including Austria, Denmark, Italy, and Sweden. Nokia is planning to offer Skype on some of its N Series phones beginning in June.

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