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Worldwide VoIP Tops 10 Million Consumer Mark

London— Research firm Point Topic estimates more than 11 million consumers worldwide used voice-over-Internet protocol technology to place phone calls in March.

“This number climbs to just under 17.5 million VoIP users when 'soft clients’ like Skype and VoiceGlo are added in,” Point Topic senior analyst John Bosnell said in a statement.

Japan leads the charge, the company said, with Yahoo! Japan claiming 4.5 million subscribers. Point Topic estimates the U.S. VoIP market reached 2.1 million subscribers in March. The report also examined Skype, which had achieved 100 million downloads by mid-April. Of those downloads, Point Topic said, 35 million users had registered and 1.2 million Skype accounts existed.

Skype does not publish subscriber numbers, Point Topic said, but does release a “minutes served” number.

“This suggests that many people download the client and do not register, and many people who register never or rarely use Skype, a VoIP soft-client version of the 80/20 rule,” Bosnell said. “But combined with our number for VoiceGlo, we estimate that soft-client services came to around 5.9 million VoIP users in Q1 2005.”