French Companies are the Largest VoIP Providers in Western Europe

According to InfoCom’s most recent report on VoIP retail consumer offers, the three largest VoIP providers in Western Europe are Orange, Neuf Cegetel and Free. All three are French providers whereby Orange, with its Livebox, is also active in the Netherlands, Spain and the UK in addition to France. All in all Orange had 3.57 million VoIP customers in these four countries at June- 2007 (it has also 71 000 VoIP subscribers in Poland) and is thus clearly the largest VoIP provider in Western Europe with an estimated 14% market share. Neuf Cegetel and Free (Iliad group) are then clearly the number two and three, followed by BT and United Internet. All main providers are basing their VoIP service mainly on DSL rather than on cable modem.

The other main pan-European players are also the most widely known international providers, namely Skype, or else MSN or Yahoo! in combination with their messaging services. However, their core VoIP services are only PC-to-PC services, i.e. access to and from the PSTN is either not possible or limited, and generally consumers do not use Skype, Google or MSN VoIP services as their main phone line in place of their traditional telephone line. The number of VoIP providers varies widely, depending of course on the overall size of a country in Western Europe from only about 7 providers in Greece to 100 or so in the UK. 5 incumbents do not offer any VoIP service for residential customers whereby Telefónica in Spain has stopped marketing its VoIP service actively but still service its existing customers. Sonera in Finland had also for some time stopped the marketing of its service although a re-launch happened in October 2007. It is worth noting that in both cases the VoIP offer has the same communication prices as standard PSTN offers and indeed is competing against PSTN tariff options (flat rate or other) which could be seen as more advantageous. The success of Telefónica and Sonera VoIP offers has thus been limited so far.

Posted on Jan 30, 2008  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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