VoIP to grow in Africa

Voice over Internet Protocol in Africa and the Middle East will grow at a rapid rate over the next five years.

According to a study by Pyramid Research the VoIP solutions sector will be worth around $2.77 billion in 2015, compared to $1.1 billion in 2010.

This will be due in part to an increasing number of technology licenses issued to Internet Service Providers in countries within this huge region.

Another factor influencing the growth of VoIP will be the take up of broadband which is predicted to double by 2015.

However, the process faces challenges as is evident from the recent decision of the Lebanese government to block VoIP. Telecomms companies in these countries see cheap or free VoIP calling using computers rather than traditional phone lines as a threat to their revenue structures.

Hussam Barhoush, a senior analyst at Pyramid Research, said: "The process of liberalisation in several markets including Africa and the Middle East has allowed new entrants to launch VoIP services using new technologies."

Mr Barhoush added: "This growth of VoIP subscriptions, coupled with the high demand for cheaper international calling rates as well as regulators issuing more lenient rules toward VoIP as a service, will accelerate VoIP revenue prospects."

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