Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

Impacts on communications carriers and consumers

Richard D. Emmerson
Taylor Nelson Sofres
Steve Parsons
Taylor Nelson Sofres
and
John Rutkowski
Taylor Nelson Sofres

INTRODUCTION

Most analysts seem to agree that Voice over IP (VoIP) eventually will change the way telephone services are bought and sold. VoIP will continue to grow as industry standards and technologies evolve. This development will have a dramatic impact on consumers and on communications carriers. Yet little research is being performed today that will help communications service providers determine how to change and adapt their future business as packet voice technologies evolve. By adopting a unique perspective on the role of communications in the future, we hope to stimulate new research that will benefit both communications carriers and consumers.

Our attention to carriers largely will address the question of how VoIP will reshape the ownerships of companies and the relationships that likely will develop among the industries' complex web of interrelated players. We conclude that communications companies likely will enter an era of industry fragmentation, a trend contrary to the consolidations and mergers that prevail today. New research could form the basis for plans and strategies that will allow telephone companies and other communications carriers to succeed in a very different environment than is now envisioned.