The carrier VoIP and IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) equipment market may have finished off strong for its final quarter in 2011, but there were a few factors holding it back from achieving its full potential.
According to the 4Q 2011 Service Provider VoIP and IMS Equpiment and Subscribers vendor market share and forecast report from market research firm Infonetics Research (News - Alert), lagging softswitching and legacy trunk media gateway sales are to blame for a downshift in market growth.
"The carrier VoIP and IMS equipment market surged in the final quarter of 2011, as it often does at the end of the year, but the more important measure is the year-over-year comparison, and from that vantage point the market is down 2 percent in 2011 from 2010 as legacy trunk media gateway and softswitch sales drag on the overall market," said Diane Myers, directing analyst for VoIP and IMS at Infonetics Research, in a press release.
On a positive note, Myers added that in 2012, high-growth market segments – which include IMS equipment as well as session border controllers – will together grow enough to compensate for the continuous declines of the legacy products. In fact, over the next four years, Infonetics projects this market will reverse its course and uptick to $3.8 billion, thanks to IMS sales alone.
Much of this forecasted growth will be fueled by large service providers – including AT&T (News - Alert), China Telecom, and NTT – as they initiate network transformation projects, as well as cable operators migrating to new networks and wireless operators launching IMS for their LTE (News - Alert) networks.
Geographically, the market growth varied among continents, with North America and EMEA boasting the strongest fourth quarter, with carrier VoIP and IMS sales growing more than 20 percent each, and vendors like Huawei, GENBAND, Alcatel-Lucent and Acme Packet (News - Alert) posting “notable growth.” Latin America was the most surprising area for expansion, with VoIP activity mounting in Brazil and Mexico.
Other highlights of the report were that worldwide sales of telecom service provider VoIP and IMS equipment surged 15.8 percent over the third quarter of 2011 to $690 million, and that Infonetics predicts the number of global IMS-based subscribers will reach 610 million, from a current 177 million, in 2016.
Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli