The voice-over-DSL market for small business should grow exponentially from 2001 to 2005, according to a report published by Research First Consulting Inc., a market research and consulting firm that focuses on the telecom industry.
Although small business voice-over-DSL revenue should bring in a mere US$169 million for service providers in 2001, Research First believes revenues will grow by more than 150 percent per year to be in the range of US$7 billion by 2005.
Research First focused on studying the small business market, because this is the market segment that voice-over-DSL providers are currently targeting, says Scott Rex, principal partner and analyst with Research First.
The study, which was commissioned by broadband telecom equipment manufacturer Jetstream Communications, is based on interviews with over 900 small business telecom personnel.
Voice over DSL appeals to service providers, because it allows them to take advantage of the popularity of broadband connections in the small business community, Rex says. It also allows them to reduce costs by providing multiple voice lines over one copper pipe. These savings can then be passed on to customers.
Rex notes that Research First found that many small business customers were actually more concerned about their Internet connection going down than they were about losing their voice lines.
"The high degree of reliance these companies place on the Internet really surprised me," Rex says.
The businesses Research First spoke to were generally very happy with their broadband connections and receptive to using those connections for voice, Rex says.