In a tough year for telecom vendors and carriers with capital expenditures being slashed and network builds scaled back, a new report from IDC sees though a breakthrough at the overall market for IP telephony and positive signs both on the enterprise and service provider side. According to IDCs Worldwide IP Telephony Equipment Forecast 2002-2007, the long-term prospects for voice-over-packet technology remain excellent despite the telecom downturn.
“The overall market is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 45 per cent to reach a revenue base of $15.1 billion [app. the same amount in euros] by the year 2007,” noted Tom Valovic, director of IDC’s IP Telephony program. IDC is projecting the best growth in enterprise systems such as IP-PBXs . For this year, the current forecast shows a 66 per cent increase in equipment sales to enterprises.
In terms of enterprise solutions, IDC believes that 2003 will present a major window of opportunity for both IP-PBX vendors and carriers looking to roll out IP Centrex and VoIP VPN services.
The report also warns that large telecom suppliers might be tempted to forestall a stronger commitment to next-generation technology to optimise revenue from their existing legacy product base. IDC report notes that if it may appear to be a good short-term strategy, it is not one without serious long-term implications.
“The danger here is fairly obvious: R&D and technology development can fall behind along with the design, test, and installation experience needed to provide a strong transitional capability for traditional customers,” Mr Valovic added.
IDCs recently released study covers softswitches and four media gateway segments: carrier gateway switches, RAS-based gateway switches, standalone VoIP gateways, and voice-over-broadband gateways. The enterprise segments include both IP PBXs and IP phones . The study presents the cumulative forecast and discusses recent trends in the individual segments.
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