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May 12, 2008

Global Carrier Grade VoIP Equipment Grew 10% in Q1 2008

According to preliminary statistics published by Dittberner Associates, the global carrier grade VoIP equipment market grew 10 percent in the first quarter of 2008 from Q1 2007. During the same period, global media gateway and softswitch shipments surpassed 36.8 million ports, reaching $614 million.

The international market research and consultancy firm says that Huawei (News - Alert) continued its lead in market share, in terms of overall ports shipped during the quarter. The company was placed in the top spot in the worldwide rankings, followed by Siemens (News - Alert) and GENBAND. Huawei could sustain its leadership position ports shipped, given its ongoing regional projects with QSC, SYNTERRA, and Motiv in CIS, China Netcom in AP, and Telefonica de Argentina in CALA.
Because its largest customers, including Verizon (News - Alert) and Embarq, are prioritizing access and core network upgrades over VoIP rollouts, Nortel continues to lose market share, according to Dittberner.
Dittberner has ranked the top three suppliers in the media gateway and softswitch market segments in terms of ports shipped during the quarter. While Huawei is at the top position in 1Q08 media gateway ranking, Siemens leads Huawei and Sonus in Q1 2008 softswitch ranking. The research firm points out that although the market showed spectacular growth on a year over year basis, it actually declined from Q4 2007. This was primarily due to seasonality effects.
The seemingly invincible VoIP players, like Vonage and Skype (News - Alert), as well as facilities-based broadband and cable VoIP telephony operators — with the exception of Comcast — have experienced a slight decrease in subscriber growth during the first quarter. Comcast (News - Alert) saw a slight increase in new VoIP subscribers, adding 639,000 users, in contrast to 604,000 during Q4 2007.
Although the migration path may be different from carrier to carrier, the softswitch architecture has become an important technical means for network evolution for both wireline and wireless operators.
Lilian Tau, VP market research at Dittberner said they increasingly see more replacement projects where an operator replaces PSTN elements with equivalent NGN components, as opposed to expansion type deployments, where carriers keep existing PSTN infrastructure and services, overlaying NGN components to address new customers and introduce new multimedia services.
Founded in 1966, Dittberner Associates tracks, on a quarterly and continuous basis, the size of the global VoIP market in terms of ports shipped and revenue, by product (media gateway, softswitch), architecture (distributed, integrated), class type (class 4, class 5), and port type (IP, ATM, TDM), as well as regional breakdowns of  shipments in terms or ports and revenue. The program also provides the positions of all market players in comparison with the last quarter.
Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering call centers, CRM and information technology. To see more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
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