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In-Stat: 10 Million VoIP Homes

Scottsdale, Ariz. — More than 10 million U.S. homes have at least one active VoIP user, according to research firm In-Stat.

The number of U.S. VoIP users has risen from 9 million in the third quarter of 2006, thanks largely to cable operators and Vonage, the firm noted.

According to In-Stat, “client-based” VoIP providers such as Yahoo! or AOL have seen their growth slow thanks to cable’s ramp-up. The only client-based service to show gains through the fourth quarter of 2006 was Skype, the firm reported. Skype has increased its lead, the firm said, while other competitors in the client category have lost ground.

International calling is driving the use of client-based IM services, In-Stat said, with client VoIP users reporting that 52 percent of their calls are overseas vs. just 6 percent for cable or adapter-based providers.

In-Stat also shed some light on how consumers are behaving when they adopt Internet telephony. Over 61 percent discontinue their landline service, including 76 percent of those who use adapter-based services like Vonage.

Business use is also up, with 51 percent of VoIP subscribers saying they use the service for a mix of personal and business calls and 4 percent reporting that they use it exclusively for business.