Report: IP PBX Sales Up 10%

First-quarter sales of IP PBXes are up 10 percent over the previous quarter, a study finds.

Sales of IP PBXs have risen 10 percent over last quarter, according to a quarterly study compiled by Infonetics Research. Worldwide revenue in this category totaled slightly more than $87 million in the first quarter of 2004. The San Jose, Calif., market research firm expects this figure to top $899 million by 2007.

Worldwide IP PBX lines totaled 1.4 million in the first quarter, up 11 percent from the fourth quarter of 2003. Lines shipped on hybrid platforms— those switching both traditional circuit-switched phone sets and IP phones—accounted for 64 percent of all IP lines, the report found.

"Hybrid players tend to have seasonally weak first quarters, causing that segment to stay flat in a generally growing market, but gains in the pure play segment helped the overall IP PBX market to carve out double-digit percent gains," said Matthias Machowinski, an Infonetics Research analyst and lead author of the report.

Cisco Systems Inc. holds first place among IP PBX vendors. Only Mitel and 3Com Corp. can also claim gains in market share. Alcatel leads the market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Companies tracked in the IP PBX report included 3Com, Alcatel, Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, NEC, Nortel, Shoreline, Siemens, Sphere, Vertical Networks and Zultys.

In a related and more broadly focused report, Infonetics found worldwide next-generation voice product revenue totaling just over $294 million in the first quarter, down 13 percent from the fourth quarter of 2003. This market, taking in sales to carriers, is expected to grow to $446 million by the first quarter of 2005 as VOIP (voice over IP) continues to move from trial mode to commercial deployments.

"The market stumbled this quarter, as we expected, because it came off such great heights from the previous quarter due mostly to a surge of year-end budget clearing," said Infonetics Researchs Kevin Mitchell, directing analyst and co-author of the report. "But the trend is still moving toward IP, the market is still above third quarter 2003 levels, and we still project massive investments in next-gen voice equipment between 2004 and 2007."

Machowinski pointed to recent announcements of VOIP service launches, from such high-profile carriers as AT&T. A surge this quarter in worldwide voice application server licenses also indicates investment in such network-enhanced services as voice-activated dialing and voice-navigated voice mail. Machowinski also noted a rise in subscriber counts.

The report notes that softswitches, responsible for IP call routing, call setup and teardown, and media gateways, which convert and pass voice traffic between the traditional circuit-switched and packet-switched networks, make up 90 percent of next-generation voice equipment revenue.

North America took a larger share of worldwide revenue this quarter, followed by EMEA and Asia Pacific, which are nearly tied.

The Next Gen Voice Products report tracks media gateways (ATM switch voice gateways, Class 5 packet switches, convergence switches and RAC VOIP gateways); media servers; session border controllers; softswitches (circuit switch-based and next-gen softswitches); voice application servers; and hybrid and pure IP PBXs.

Companies tracked in this service include Acme Packet, Alcatel, AudioCodes, BayPackets, Broadsoft, CIRPACK, Cisco, Convedia, CopperCom, Ericsson, Huawei, IP Unity, Italtel, Jasomi, Kagoor, LongBoard, Lucent, Marconi, MediaRing, MetaSwitch, Netrake, NexTone, Nortel, Nuera, Pactolus, sentitO, Siemens, Sonus, Sylantro, Tekelec, Telica, Ubiquity, UTStarcom, Veraz, Verso and VocalData.


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