Thursday, January 12, 2006

VoIP bete noir

Hold on to your chapeaus, here's an update on France Telecom. A Prix D'Or mega-uber value reader writes in to alert me to a passage from an article on FT in today's Les Echos. In the original it apparently says:

"La migration vers le téléphone sur Internet est plus rapide que prévu. 'Il représentait environ 15% du trafic fin 2005 et pourrait grimper jusqu’à 40% en 2006 alors qu’il ne dépasse pas 1% sur le marché grand public Britannique', explique Michel Combes."

This translates as: "The migration to internet telephony is faster than expected. 'It made up about 15% of traffic at the end of 2005 and could increase to 40% in 2006, while it is below 1% in the British residential market,' explains (France Telecom's) Michel Combes."

While Mr. Combes does not define "traffic" in detail, the last set of statistics from regulator ARCEP, covering the Q2 2005 period (scroll down about 1/3 of the way), show that VoIP, at 1.8bn minutes, accounted for 7% of total outgoing fixed line traffic in Q2, up from 5.7% in Q1. It would seem that what he is talking about is outgoing fixed line minutes, in which case VoIP's proportion doubled in the space of six months, and I think we're talking about a quarterly run rate of around 4bn minutes at the end of the year.

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