In transitioning from a telephone network to a broadband network, telephone service shifts from a network-specific telephone service to a variety of Internet Protocol (IP) telephone applications. As measured by the share of Voice-over-IP (VoIP) service in total non-mobile telephone service, the telephone application transition is happening faster in Japan than in the U.S. In Japan on June 30, 2010, VoIP telephone service accounted for 36% of non-mobile telephone service. The corresponding figure for the U.S. was 19%.
Japan is well-recognized for its advanced development of fiber to the home and its world-leading broadband speeds and bandwidth prices. But relatively low-performance digital subscriber line (DSL) service is sufficient to support VoIP. The faster telephone application shift in Japan is associated not with broadband speed, but with different incumbent telephone company behavior.
New telephone service entrants in both Japan and the U.S. have predominately used VoIP. In Japan, the non-NTT share of VoIP service in non-NTT telephone service was 71% on June 30, 2010. The corresponding figures for non-ILEC telephone service providers in the U.S. was 55%. The behavior of incumbents differs much more between Japan and the U.S. On June 30, 2010, the share of NTT VoIP service in NTT telephone service was 22%, while the corresponding figure for ILECs in the U.S. was 2%. U.S. incumbent telephone service providers are changing relatively little their existing non-mobile telephone service.
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