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VoIP and Cable Phone Services Surge in Quebec


28/03/2008

As more and more consumers adopt mobile phones, the future is beginning to look bleak for landline services, and now that VoIP-based cable phone services are picking up steam, the traditional telephone market is declining in size at an even faster rate.

In the Canadian province of Quebec, as many as 44% of voice subscribers used cable phone or some other form of VoIP by the end of 2007, according to a recent study by Leger Marketing. That’s up from just 16% at the end of 2006.

“We were surprised when we saw the results,” said Najoua Kooli, a project director with the Montreal-based research firm. “Traditional phone use was expected to drop in the coming years and we’re already starting to see it.”

The dramatic rise of VoIP technology is especially astounding given that the technology has only been widely available in Quebec since 2005. The trend towards digital phones is driven by demographics, and not limited to Quebec, according to industry observers.

“As Generation Y increases its influence on the market these numbers will only continue to grow,” commented AR Communications technology analyst, Carmi Levy. “The understanding of what phone service is is very different among the generation that has grown up among the Internet.”

VoIP offers significant discounts on long distance calling, as well as a greater range of advanced options and features than incumbent telephone operators like Bell Canada and Telus.

“Eventually everything is going to be VoIP,” said VoIP analyst, Jon Arnold, of J Arnold and Associates. Arnold also noted, however, that “it’s going to be a long time before that happens and the telecom companies … will want to milk the landline business as long as they can.”



 

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