VoIP lucrative for EMEA operators

Michael Carroll
08 Aug 2012

Telcos in EMEA are making gains in hosted voice over IP (VoIP) services, despite the market being highly competitive, Infonetics Research analysts state.

Norway based Telenor is rated as the top provider of hosted VoIP services in the research firm’s latest VoIP Services Leadership Scorecard, an annual survey that analyzes and ranks the top service providers in the hosted IP PBX/IP Centrex market in EMEA. The telco achieved a score of 30.7 points from a possible 35, and replaces BT at the top of the pile in the latest analysis.

Indeed, the UK incumbent finds itself in fourth place in the latest study, with Vodafone and TDC rated second and third respectively.

However, the competitiveness of the market is reflected in the fact that the top ten hosted VoIP telcos are separated by just six points. Infonetics Research also notes there is a strong group of providers in Europe and Africa who rank just outside the top ten.

"Competitive, incumbent, and mobile operators across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East continue to launch and enhance VoIP services for their business customers, with a notable shift toward mobile solutions and unified communications," Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP and IMS at the firm says.

Myers notes that Telenor, Vodafone and TDC “all offer strong mobile of FMC capabilities as part of their hosted VoIP services.” Those services are helping the trio pick up contracts from small businesses in particular, which Myers attributes to such firm’s reliance on mobile phones over fixed line.

The study will provide some cheer for carriers in the region, coming just a few days after Ovum predicted operators’ voice revenues will fall $170.8 billion (€137 billion) by 2020 due to the impact of over-the-top VoIP services.

However, even OTT VoIP players may find themselves struggling for revenues in the long term, as consumers begin to ditch voice calls in general, Jeremy Green, principal analyst for telco strategy at Ovum, notes. “Our research suggests that real time voice communications is in decline as part of a broader cultural trend.”

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