May 04, 2009
AireSpring Rides SIP Trunking Wave
By Erik Linask, Group Managing Editor
When AireSpring (News - Alert) CEO Avi Lonstein recently noted that he expects the SIP-based VoIP market to grow exponentially over the next several years, he made that prediction on the back of not only his own company’s successes, but also based on the widespread understanding that SIP is the dominant protocol for connection VoIP calls — and will become even more so, as VoIP adoption continues to grow.
“That is the obvious direction in which the market is moving. SIP architecture in the core network is simply more efficient and much less expensive to maintain in the long run,” he told TMC’s (News - Alert) Richard Grigonis.
He did concede the current recession has the potential to stunt growth somewhat, but in many ways, the economy seems to be playing into the hands of SIP Trunking providers, like AireSpring.
In fact, a recent Infonetics study discussing the growth of VoIP and Unified Communications (News - Alert) corroborates Lonstein’s initial thoughts, predicting that the SIP Trunking market will see a CAGR of 89 percent from 2008 to 2013. The report also claims that, while residential customers still account for the majority of VoIP revenues, the business market outgrew the residential market in 2008, paving the way for even greater growth in 2009.
“Demand for residential and business VoIP services continues to grow through the economic downturn because of the cost savings they provide,” said Diane Myers, Directing Analyst, Service Provider VoIP and IMS, Infonetics Research.
This is the first time Infonetics has included the SIP Trunking market in its VoIP and UC Services and Subscribers reports, further supporting claims of its growth potential.
Last September, Todd Regan, senior vice president of Marketing at AireSpring, called 2008 the year of SIP Trunking. At the time, that seemed like a reasonable thought. Based on current growth estimates, however, it may have been more appropriate to call it the beginning of the SIP Trunking era.
For years, there has been doubt as the call quality VoIP could offer — and rightly so. However, over the years, the underlying networks and the protocols that have been developed — particularly SIP — have become increasingly robust, and network operators and businesses alike have come to understand the steps they need to take to ensure voice quality over VoIP networks.
There was also a lack of urgency in moving to a new phone system, either due to having recently deployed a new TDM system, or simply because the old system still worked. The current recession, despite the initial reluctance to spend, has resulted in every business looking at ways to cut overall costs. For many, the outcome of that analysis has been to move to some form of VoIP, including SIP Trunking, because of the basic costs savings it can deliver.
AireSpring is a prime example of the shift in focus towards cost — as opposed to feature benefits, which, until recently, were the selling point for VoIP and UC solutions.
“Since we offer lowest cost telecom services, it is as though the market has come to us, rather than the other way around,” Regan told Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) ahead of February’s ITEXPO East, which proved to be a macrocosm of the SIP Trunking space, growing 15 percent at a time when overall spending and travel budgets have been dramatically reduced.
“More customers and agents are seeking us out now than ever before,” he added. “We just happen to be in the right place at the right time with the right products.
Of course, while the growth of VoIP has been a significant driver of the demand for SIP Trunking services, that, alone, isn’t enough to grow a business. As has become a common trend in the VoIP industry, providers are partnering with what they feel are best in class vendors, knowing that the combination of services and hardware — both delivered at the right price point — make for an easier sale that services alone, especially in a situation where businesses are looking to migrate to VoIP from their TDM systems.
AireSpring, to that end, has undergone interoperability testing with a number of VoIP systems vendors — specifically targeting the SMB market, including Grandstream Networks, ShoreTel, and Sutus, and Critical Links.
With the combination of proven interop with AireSpring’s SIP Trunking service, SMBs gain not only the benefits of increased collaboration and enhanced productivity both within their internal networks as well as externally, but they can also cut their monthly calling costs significantly.
Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Group Managing Editor of TMCnet, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to nearly 3,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Erik Linask