Report Predicts Near Doubling of IP PBX Sales

A report by Infonetics Research says the market will grow by 45 percent over the next year-good news for vendors of IP and converged IP-TDM business phone systems.

Worldwide spending on enterprise IP PBXes should grow by 45 percent over the next year, according to an upbeat report released Monday by Boston-based Infonetics Research.

Second-quarter growth in the IP PBX market came to 3 percent and is expected to hit double digits for the year, according to the report from Infonetics Research Inc. IP PBX lines worldwide totaled 1.5 million, up 5 percent from the previous quarter.

Counting pure-IP PBXes, such as Cisco Systems Inc.s Call Manager, along with IP hybrids—those that retain TDM (time-division multiplexing) switching ability to work with legacy extensions—gives Cisco a wide lead in worldwide market share at 29 percent, according to directing analyst Matthias Machowinski.

Cisco is followed by Nortel Networks Ltd. at 17 percent, Alcatel at 13 percent, Mitel Networks 10 percent and Avaya Inc. at 9 percent. Paris-based Alcatel holds the lead in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, followed by Cisco, Nortel and Avaya.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read about Ciscos release of Call Manager 4.0.

Reflecting enterprises migratory approach toward IP telephony, hybrid PBXes account for 57 percent of IP PBX revenue. The number of lines on a hybrid PBX that terminate in IP phones range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the switch total and average at 20 percent, according to the report. Hybrid revenue dipped a few points in the second quarter but is expected to grow by 73 percent within the year.

Pure-IP vendors, whose revenue rose 11 percent this quarter, are strongly led by Cisco with 72 percent of the market, followed by 3Com Corp. at 19 percent and ShoreTel Inc. at 4 percent. Machowinski pegs growth in the space over the next year at 8 percent.

The Infonetics report follows a related study on media gateway sales, announced Aug. 26 by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based In-Stat/MDR. As a move toward VOIP thats less expensive than PBX replacement, lower-density media gateways are purchased by enterprises to convert voice traffic from legacy, TDM PBX systems to IP packets, for transmission over corporate WANs.

In the under-1,000-port category, In-Stat/MDR report author Norm Bogen said, Cisco led worldwide media gateway sales in 2003, followed by Quintum Technologies Inc. and VocalTec Communications Ltd. At that port size, Bogen said, about half of sales can be traced to enterprises, and the rest to carriers. He said he sees 30 percent annual growth for media gateway sales through 2008, among both enterprises and carriers.

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