In a related release Sept. 29, SBC let it be known that IDCs report found it ranked first among all service providers "for market leadership in terms of revenue and market reach." SBCs hosted VOIP offering, called Hosted IP Communications Service (HIPCS), was launched in November 2003 and is available in 69 metropolitan areas. As to the traditional long-distance carriers, MCI has Advantage for SMBs, Sprint has been "doing well" as a wholesaler of IP-based products, and it "wouldnt surprise" Stofega "if AT&T had something in the works" to go alongside its consumer VOIP CallVantage service.Stofega said he arrived at his 282 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) after eight months of discussions with end-users and carriers, along with extensive projection modeling. His total growth numbers reflect not just service revenue, but all that goes with it: access hardware, adapters or IP phones, installation, local and long distance, metered minutes, basic package and enhanced services. The IDC analyst said he doesnt think outsourced VOIP switching contracts quite outnumber CPE installations at present, but that the hosted model is increasingly popular. Many simply dont want to place expensive bets this early in the VOIP development game, he said. "The comment we get is that a traditional switch goes off warranty, and they look at the upgrade process. The RFP is such a time-consuming hassle; they just dont want to go through with it. They decide to go hosted." Technology Editor Ellen Muraskin can be reached at Ellen_Muraskin@ziffdavis.com. Check out eWEEK.coms VOIP & Telephony Center at http://voip.eWEEK.com for the latest news, views and analysis on voice over IP and telephony.
While cable operators are still concentrating on consumer voice services, "dont count them out," Stofega said. "Weve found a surprisingly high percentage using cable modems for telephony for the lower end of the market."