Also known as Internet telephony, IP Telephony is a service based on Voice over IP (VoIP), a disruptive technology that is rapidly gaining ground against traditional telephone network technologies. In Japan and South Korea up to 10% of subscribers, as of January 2005, have switched to this digital telephone service. A January 2005 Newsweek article suggested that Internet telephony may be "the next big thing." 
As of 2006 many VoIP companies offer service to consumers and businesses.
IP telephony uses a broadband Internet connection to transmit conversations as data packets. In addition to replacing POTS, IP telephony is also competing with mobile phone networks by offering free or lower cost connections via WiFi hotspots. As mentioned above VoIP is also used on private wireless networks which may or may not have a connection to the outside telephone network.