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Despite a slight downturn in the first quarter of 2005, worldwide revenues from next-generation voice over IP (VoIP) are up dramatically over the same time last year, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.
In "Service Provider Next Gen Voice Equipment," Infonetics notes that revenues from global sales of VoIP equipment totaled $493 million in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 40% over first-quarter levels in 2004. The growth trend will continue, and Infonetics predicts that revenues will reach $5.8 billion in 2008.
Observing that BT's 21st Century IP Network project indicates a maturation of the carrier VoIP market, Infonetics directing analyst and report author Kevin Mitchell says that the technology is moving downstream. Indeed, he notes that BT's announcements of contracts with a range of hardware suppliers last month will have a profound impact on the market.
"BT's selection of preferred suppliers for its 21st Century Network program to create a converged MPLS network for voice and data services -- a five-year, 10 billion pounds sterling investment cycle -- is a major deal that will affect router, optical, access, and VoIP equipment markets in Europe for years, in part as many European operators are looking to learn from BT's experience," Mitchell said in a statement. "Alcatel, Cisco, and Siemens were chosen for the metro nodes, which include media gateway, session border controller, BRAS, and edge router functions. Ericsson was chosen to provide the i-node elements, which include softswitches, bandwidth shaping, and network intelligence. These vendors, and their partners, will benefit in sales and prestige associated with this deal."
Global revenues from softswitch sales were up 4% in the first quarter over the previous quarter, and an impressive 63% over the same quarter last year. Nortel is the softswitch market share leader, with Siemens second Italtel third. Geographically, North America accounted for 45% of total service provider next generation voice equipment: revenues, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa made up 27% and Asia Pacific 21%.