With the popularity of webcams and video chatting online you'd think the market for residential video telephony services would be dead, but analysts say the industry will likely break a billion dollar barrier for the first time this year.
They predict an increasing number of households as well as individual cell phone users around the world will start making video phone calls. According to a recent study, residential video telephony is part of a worldwide push by carriers to create new IP-enabled services for consumers. The study notes that consumers of wireline services and mobile telecommunications services are adopting the video telephone
service along with other IP-enabled services such as fixed-mobile convergence services, file sharing services, streaming services, location-based services and presence-based services.
I've used Skype and iChat for computer-based video chats and meetings, but never ventured into the landline video chat world so these numbers sound outrageous to me. Of course, the analysts do not agree. "I believe everyone is underestimating the impact that video telephone services will have on our lives," says Robert Rosenberg, of Insight Research. "We are visual - not auditory - beings. My guess is that among all the IP services being rolled out worldwide, real time video phone could be the service that has the biggest impact on our daily lives."