Week in research: Transition to IP slows PBX sales slightly; ZTE pushes patent applications up

PBX in transition: Lagging sales of TDM PBX systems put a bit of a tail drag on overall global PBX sales in the first quarter of 2011, with the market dipping to $2.52 billion, 4 percent below the same period last year. However, the continuing shift to IP PBX is in evidence as this segment of the market grew slightly from Q4 2010 to Q1 2011. "The global PBX market is typically down in the first quarter following a strong fourth quarter, and 1Q11 was no exception as the overall market dipped 2.6 percent, dragged down by slowing TDM PBX sales as businesses continue to shift to IP. The good news is the quarter was up 8.5 percent over the year-ago quarter (1Q10), signal(ling) a return to stability," said Diane Myers, directing analyst for VoIP and IMS at Infonetics Research. News release.

Top UC vendors 2011 Infonetics

Patent drive: Shenzen, China-based ZTE Corporation applied for more international patents in Q1 2011 than any other telecommunications equipment manufacturer, submitting more than 974 applications--almost double that of competitor Panasonic. This is already more than half of the total number of patent applications ZTE submitted for all of 2010, the company points out. Last year, ZTE applied for 1,863 international patents. The majority of the manufacturer's patents--35,000 in all, so far--are related to essential telecom standards and/or core telecom technologies. News release.

Wireline's reputation dips: It's no secret that traditional fixed line voice service is on the decline, but figures released by the ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index) this week paint an even clearer picture of where the market is going. As consumers move increasingly to wireless--more than 25 percent have wireless service only in a market that has 93 percent penetration compared to 73 percent wireline penetration--and telecommunications providers shift their attention to newer technologies, overall customer satisfaction has predictably dropped. This year the industry's ACSI score fell 2.7 percent over last year, to 73. While the large incumbents saw declines or no change in their rating, smaller local and long distance providers remained ahead of companies like AT&T in the rating. The former Qwest (now owned by CenturyLink) actually saw a 1 percent increase in customer satisfaction. News release.