The enterprise market for session border controllers (SBCs)—which act as traffic cops or gatekeepers between voice-over-IP networks and IP traffic from ‘outside’ networks—will grow 49 percent annually through 2013, Infonetics Research announced Tuesday.
Service providers have long deployed SBCs to keep their networks secure—handling tasks such as NAT translation and firewall traversal issues, protocol trans-coding, and managing access to network resources by external traffic.
The enterprise market, previously relatively small, began to take off in 2008, according to Infonetics, as businesses started migrating to IP-based communications solutions en masse,
That growth will allow the SBC market to sidestep the “economic malaise” encountered by other telecom sectors, according to Infonetics, and will likely continue at a robust pace for the next four years or so.
“The enterprise SBC market is driven by the general adoption of SIP trunking services, and more specifically by large enterprises looking to SIP trunking services as a way of consolidating, centralizing, and increasing the utilization of their trunking infrastructure,” Infonetics analyst Matthias Machowinski said in a statement.
Machowinski told Enterprise VoIPplanet that, in addition to securing and optimizing SIP network connections, the need for SBCs to perform protocol trans-coding (translation) and generally support interworking between different types of VoIP equipment is another factor driving the expected revenue upswing—68 percent of which is based in North America.
The two largest SBC providers are Cisco and Acme Packet — both based in North America. The pool of providers recently shrank when Acme acquired rival Convergence for $23 million.
While nearly seven out of 10 SBCs are sold to North American enterprises, Matthias expects the Asian-Pacific region will soon catch-up to U.S. enterprises.
According to the research firm Dell’Oro Group, total SBC sales for 2009 (service provider and enterprise) will be in the neighborhood of $197 million.