Carrier VoIP shows increased resilience


Carrier VoIP shows increased resilience

Alex Scroxton
The market for carrier VoIP appears to have made it through the recession relatively unscathed compared to other voice technologies, according to research released this week by analysts at Synergy Research Group.

The group's newly-released carrier VoIP 2009 market shares report showed a global market in rude health, posting total sales of $10bn, down 18%, a considerably less pronounced drop than those measured in other telecoms markets.

Carrier VoIP uptake was traditionally driven by upgrades of elderly TDM PSTN switches, said Synergy, but more recently mobile operators have started muscling in on the game in pursuit of capital and operational expenditure savings.

Genband, already celebrating this week after it picked up Nortel's CVAS unit for a steal, took top spot in full-year sales of wireline and mobile media gateway ports, with 23% of the market. Second-placed Huawei took 15%, while Nokia-Siemens, Ericsson and Nortel rounded out the top five.

The acquisition of Nortel's assets by Genband will cement the little-known Texan firm's market leadership position.

The market for IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) VoIP was led by Alcatel-Lucent, which commands a 47% market share, with Ericsson and Huawei accounting for 32% and 10% of shipments respectively.

Although IMS is still very much a work in progress, Synergy said it believed the technology - which began life in the 3G mobile sector - was going to have a more pronounced impact on the voice industry in the coming years as a "highly viable" service delivery platform. In the wake of Cisco's acquisition of Starent analysts predicted more vendor activity in the sector.

"(IMS) clearly showed its potential in 2009. Synergy believes 2010 will show more IMS market development with increased deployments and continued industry cooperation such as that seen with the One Voice Initiative," said Synergy principal analyst Jeremy Duke.

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