VoIP needs more bandwidth

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Low broadband penetration and the popularity of 256Kb/s plans will undermine VoIP use by Australian consumers, analyst IDC has said.

Residential broadband penetration in Australia was 16 percent at the end of 2004. Of those subscribers, 70 percent were using entry-level 256Kb/s broadband connections, IDC said in a statement.

Most residential VoIP providers recommended 512Kb/s as the minimum bandwidth for VoIP usage, the company said.

The company has suggested that VoIP service providers offer advanced features, such as voicemail delivery, email and time-of-the-day call forwarding, to make VoIP offerings more compelling.

Combining VoIP with traditional voice services was another method of making VoIP offerings more attractive, IDC said.

"Most residential VoIP users will use VoIP as a secondary phone line, and not as a fixed-line replacement," said Susana Vidal, senior telecommunications analyst at IDC, in a statement.

At the end of 2004, there were 8000 paying residential VoIP subscribers in Australia. IDC expected the number to grow to half a million by the end of 2009.

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