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September 08, 2008

Report: Hosted Web Conferencing Services to Continue Growth

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert) has said that the hosted Web conferencing services market in the Asia-Pacific witnessed 37.6 percent year-on-year growth in 2007 and is expected to maintain a similar high per-annum growth average for the next six years.
The report, Asia Pacific Hosted Web Conferencing Services Market, conducted by the agency covering 13 countries in Asia Pacific and finds that the Web conferencing services market in Asia Pacific earned revenues of US$25.3 million in 2007 and estimates this to reach US$237.4 million by the end of 2014, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.7 percent from 2007 to2014.

The study found that Australia, Japan and Greater China are the top three revenue contributors in the Web conferencing services sector and that the main adopters of Web conferencing include high technology services and banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sectors.

The study was conducted on hosted Web conferencing services, which include the services offered by service providers on a Software as a Service (SaaS (News - Alert)) model for a pay-as-you-use fee (cost per user per minute) or fixed fee (cost per seat), as well as managed conferencing services.

Web conferencing solutions have been widely used for general meetings, sales and marketing, and training purposes. They also find specialized applications such as investor relations and Web-seminars (Webinars), enabling businesses to communicate with audiences beyond the company’s firewall.
Webinars are gaining popularity given their substantial savings in set-up costs and the ability to link people from anywhere in the world.
The growth of the Web conferencing services industry is attributed to the increasing deployment of these cost-saving communications technologies as well as substantial support from the governments in these markets to promote the use of the Internet and Web-enabled technologies.
“The huge demand in Web conferencing services is driven mainly by growing uptake in the small and medium business (SMB) sector in both emerging and mature markets, as
well as the push by major local service providers in countries such as Japan and China,” said Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Pranabesh Nath, in a statement.
“Service providers in China particularly have seen rapid growth with a record number of new users added each year. The number of hosted Web conferencing service providers in China is also rising each year in tandem with the growing demand."

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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