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Report: Yahoo Japan Dominates VOIP

Point Topic says there are over 5M VOIP subscribers worldwide, but about 80% of them belong to Yahoo Broadband in Japan

December 7, 2004

2 Min Read

LONDON -- Internet service providers are rushing into the voice market, with over 1,000 offering voice-over-IP services today, according to estimates by Point Topic. These service providers share over 5 million subscribers, but the great majority belong to Yahoo Broadband in Japan and a handful of other big players.

"We estimate that one operator, Yahoo Broadband in Japan, accounts for around 80% of worldwide VoIP subscribers," says John Bosnell a Senior Analyst at Point Topic.

"We believe that this early dominance has been helped by traditionally high telephony tariffs in Japan," continues Bosnell, "even taking this into account they (Yahoo Broadband) boast an impressive penetration rate of over 94% of their broadband subscribers."

"We estimate there are now approximately 1000 VoIP providers around the world. Most of these have set up during 2003 or 2004. Many have very few subscribers at the moment," adds Bosnell.

"The trend, during 2004 and early 2005, in VoIP subscriber growth outside Japan, is for broadband service providers to add voice subscribers as part of a double play or triple play offering reducing the importance of the 'pure-play' VoIP providers," concludes Bosnell.

Point Topic has researched a sample of the IP Telephony market to produce a profile for its Broadband Money Makers service. This sample does not include Internet-only services like Skype. It concentrates on telephony services where the customer plugs a telephone into the customer's broadband modem, sometimes called voice over broadband providers.

Table 1: 2Q04 Subscriber Numbers for Six Leading VOIP Operators


Subscriber numbers


B2 (Sweden)


July 2004

Cablevision (USA)


30 June 2004

FastWeb (Italy)


September 2004

Free (France)


30 June 2004

Vonage (USA)


July 2004

Yahoo Broadband (Japan)


30 June 2004



Point Topic Ltd.

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