VoIP uptake 'a current frontier issue' at ATUG

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VoIP uptake 'a current frontier issue' at ATUG

Despite reported customer satisfaction in Internet and VoIP services, improvements can be made to support the uptake of telecommunications technology in Australian homes and businesses, according to Lyn Maddock, deputy chair of ACMA.

Citing survey results from ACMA's November 2007 research report, "Telecommunications Today", Maddock highlighted an increase in online shopping and banking by home users.

"The use of the Internet in the global economy is increasing; it's no longer just a tool of personal communication," she said.

While e-mail remains the main use of the Internet at home, nearly 40 percent of survey respondents assent to using the Internet for shopping and paying bills and nearly half of the survey respondents had bought products online.

Mobile phones were the top ranked technology in what respondents perceived to be critical telecommunications services for their households in the future. 83 percent of survey respondents nominated mobile phones as a critical service.

70 percent of survey respondents nominated broadband as a critical telecommunications service, which compared well with 74 percent who expected to value landlines in future households. VoIP services were nominated by 40 percent of survey respondents.

"For broadband to be up there with landlines; that's really a powerful figure," Maddock noted.

In the SME space, 80 percent of survey respondents reported being "quite satisfied" with their Internet service providers.

target="_blank">VoIP services were satisfactory, according to 60 percent of SME users, while about a quarter of survey respondents were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with current VoIP options.

Maddock speculated that the reported customer satisfaction with broadband and VoIP services could be a product of the ease with which dissatisfied customers are able to switch from one Internet provider to another.

The relative youth of broadband and VoIP services were also suggested as a reason for their reported success.

"VoIP is a current frontier issue in Australia," Maddock said.

"My hypothesis is that with newer services, people have less of a history with it, so people have less concerns for their service provider."

The uptake of VoIP services was said to be driven by cost savings, with SMEs in the communication services, finance and manufacturing sectors reporting the highest levels of VoIP usage, and those in the health, retail and construction sectors reporting the least.

"They [manufacturing, finance] are the sectors that are most likely to be involved in overseas trade," Maddock said. "They're the VoIP adopters because they are most likely to be reducing costs in this way."
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