Following three years of annual declines, a new Infonetics Q4 2012 report revealed that the VoIP and IMS equipment market grew 9 percent over 2011 due to strong IMS sales.
What drove growth in the carrier VoIP market in 2012 was the incorporation of IMS into LTE-based wireless networks, a trend Infonetics expects to continue throughout 2013.
"It's still early days for IMS equipment and applications for LTE, but a handful of operators are placing orders that are positively impacting revenue," said Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC and IMS at Infonetics Research.
Driven by demand for a mix of IMS, voice application servers and softswitches, global sales of carrier VoIP and IMS equipment in Q4 2012 surpassed the $800 million mark. From a geographic perspective, the Caribbean and Latin America were the dominant regions, rising over 37 percent in 2012.
There were a number of fluctuations in the softswitch and IMS market segments. In 2012, IMS equipment sales made up a little over 40 percent of total VoIP and IMS revenue, offsetting declines in legacy softswitch and trunk media gateways. Although softswitches continue to decline annually, Infonetics said some service providers are replacing first generation softswitches and not migrating to IMS.
Dominating the IMS and VoIP segment were three vendors: Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and GENBAND, all of which saw sequential revenue growth in 2012. While Huawei took the No. 1 spot in Infonetics' VoIP and IMS market share leaderboard in 2012 with around 20 percent of the global market, Alcatel-Lucent took over the second spot from GENBAND.
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