Awareness of VoIP on the Rise

Over the course of nine months, the percentage of British adults who say they have heard of VoIP or already make telephone calls via an Internet connection increased from just a little over one-third (37%) to nearly half (46%).

These are some of the findings from a Harris Interactive survey measuring VoIP awareness and usage conducted online from October 12 to 16, 2005 among 1,117 British adults aged 18 and over.

Awareness
Although the change in VoIP awareness is undeniable, there are still a substantial proportion of adults who are unaware of the technology (41%). Additionally, women are far less likely than men to have heard about VoIP (28% of women vs. 57% of men).

Derek Eccleston, Research Director at Harris Interactive, comments, “These data suggest that whilst broader marketing efforts may be having success in building awareness of VoIP generally in the marketplace, more targeted communications strategies may be needed to fill the gaps in awareness among various demographic segments.”

Competition
Although VoIP competition in the market is increasing and there is plenty of choice for consumers, the survey found clear leaders in awareness among those adult consumers who are aware of Internet telephony: Skype and BT.

Eccleston comments, “The entrance of more mainstream brands moves the VoIP market onto the next stage, raising the questions: Will the big players use their scale and presence to quickly establish dominance? Or will their arrival lend credibility to the market and benefit the specialists?”

The good news is the market potential
Among those adults who do not use Internet telephony, more than half (56%) say they are at least somewhat interested in it. Despite this interest, it’s worth noting that only small percentages (11%) say they are ‘very’ interested in the possibility of making telephone calls via an Internet connection, and one in four adults who do not currently use VoIP but are interested in it (26%) say they will be likely to consider or buy VoIP in the next 12 months or sooner.