Report: SMB VoIP Demand Boosting Small Carriers

Amidst a general slowdown in sales of IP phone equipment and services, both infrastructure and services for smaller customers are a bright spot.

By Ed Sutherland | Posted Sep 16, 2009
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This time the little guy wins. That’s the message behind a recent study suggesting smaller infrastructure vendors and service providers will benefit from a 7 percent jump in carrier demand for IP phone equipment.

The market for sales of IP telephony gear will reach $737 million by the second quarter of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, according to the Dell’Oro Group.

Central to the uptick in demand is equipment that allows smaller companies to use VoIP with their legacy PBX systems. Sales of IP Centrex servers will jump 85 percent during the second quarter while SIP trunking will experience a 33 percent increase, said analyst Greg Collins, a Dell’Oro Vice President.

The sales increase comes as "service providers replenished equipment and license inventories and purchased infrastructure to serve near-term customer needs," according to the report.

The news comes as many enterprises are completing or scaling back large network modernization projects, and subscriber sales are also lower.

"Business voice-over-broadband licenses on both softswitches and voice applications servers remain a bright spot," according to analyst Collins.

Collins went on to say that larger equipment vendors, such as Nokia Siemens and Huawei, are suffering due to their "high degree of exposure to large network modernization projects."

"The market overall has declined" as larger companies have built out much of their voice infrastructure, Collins told Enterprise VoIPplanet.com

Despite the overall downturn, Nortel regained its top market position.

Collins said that while five years ago larger business networks were "cramming data onto POTS lines" today they are hesitant to invest in legacy gear. This is where smaller players step in.

The winners in this current surge of network demand concentrate on building bridges between extant PBX systems and IP Centrex or SIP trunking.

Unlike these larger companies with even larger customers, a number of smaller firms have avoided a slowdown in sales by concentrating on smaller carriers.

Dell’Oro points to AudioCodes, maker of SIP gateway cards, and MetaSwitch, a Colorado company that claims more than 200 regional carriers as customers. Veraz is another smaller VoIP switch maker that could benefit from the changing landscape.

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