The carrier voice-over-IP (VoIP) market is off to a strong start in 2015 and shows no sign of letting down as telecom operators around the world are investing in new technologies on network transformation, according to a report by IHS Infonectics.
The report shows that the service provider VoIP and IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) equipment market hit $1.3 billion worldwide in the first quarter of 2015, a 29% increase from the same period a year ago.
This bucked the typically slow first quarter and was mainly driven by the growth in core IMS solutions and voice application servers, says Diane Myers, research director for VoIP, UC and IMS for IHS.
While all regions contributed to growth, activity in the US pushed it over the top this quarter, Myers notes.
The research firm said that from its recession-low in 2011 of $2.59 billion, the global market grew 64% in 2014 to $4.24 billion. This was fueled by the network transformation projects of mobile and fixed operators around the world.
All major geographical regions enjoyed growth in 1Q15 from the prior year, but Latin America led the way, shooting up 88%.
Out of the vendors, Alcatel-Lucent was a standout in the VoIP and IMS market for the period, posting its best quarter ever for IMS sales due in large part to North America.
IHS predicts that voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) will be big news this year as operators expand or launch IMS networks for VoWiFi, helping to drive incremental sales.
Already, a total of 22 operators worldwide have launched commercial voice over LTE (VoLTE) services, and IHS expects additional operators in Asia Pacific, Europe and Canada to switch on VoLTE this year.