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Carrier VoIP and IMS Grew 30 Percent Last Year, Study Finds

  By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

There’s no getting around services such as Viber, Skype (News - Alert) and the multitude of VoIP offerings now available. People still call with their cell phones, but increasingly these calls are taking place over the data portion of their smartphone plan through the use of VoIP.

This has helped fuel impressive growth in the VoIP and IMS segments of the market in 2013, according to a recent market report by Infonetics (News - Alert) Research.

The report found that the carrier VoIP and IMS market grew by a strong 30 percent in 2013, according to the company. This was fueled by the need for carriers to roll out voice-over-LTE (News - Alert) (VoLTE) offerings, both in response to over-the-top (OTT) services such as Skype, as well as the natural efficiency that comes from VoLTE now that 4G LTE networks are finally coming into their own.

As a result of this increased investment in VoLTE, big telecommunications manufacturers also did well in 2013. Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert), Ericsson and NSN all put up growth figures of more than 20 percent, according to the report.

“Though there’s still room for pure-play vendors and product specialists, the large equipment manufacturers benefit from long-standing relationships with mobile operators and broad product portfolios that extend well beyond carrier VoIP and IMS,” noted Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS at Infonetics Research (News - Alert).

Moreover, worldwide service provider VoIP and IMS equipment revenue totaled $3.7 billion.

Spending was particularly strong in the U.S., China, and Japan, where the mobile markets are largest and operators are competitive.

There could be some lumpiness in the market, however, as operators launch services and draw down inventory. So even though VoIP and IMS will continue to grow, don’t expect the robust gains in 2013 necessarily to be repeated in 2014. There will be continued growth, but the move from investment to customer adoption will likely be the story in 2014 and 2015.

The Infonetics report also found that fixed-line transformation projects are not dead, and there was a fair share of spending on class 5 replacement, voice over broadband and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking expansion.

With the benefits of VoIP now clear to the industry and most businesses, calling services of all types are being affected.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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