There are some beneficiaries to the recession, including the cost-cutting goodness known as VoIP. And specifically, managed VoIP for businesses, which is seeing a doubling or better in growth, according to Infonetics Research.
For the first three months of 2009, service providers experienced an average of 40- to 50-percent year-over-year growth for IP Centrex. Meanwhile, hosted unified communications services are poised to take off, with worldwide revenue doubling between 2009 and 2013. Also, SIP trunking service revenue will hit a stunning 89 percent compound annual growth rate from 2008 to 2013.
“Demand for residential and business VoIP services continues to grow through the economic downturn because of the cost savings they provide,” said Diane Myers, Infonetics Research’s directing analyst for service provider VoIP and IMS, in a brief. “The demand for outsourcing and managed solutions remains healthy.”
Business is the segment to watch. For 2008, the VoIP services market had healthy growth of 33 percent to reach $30.8 billion, according to Infonetics. And while residential VoIP services make up the bulk of VoIP service revenue, business VoIP service revenue growth outpaced residential in 2008.
In fact, last year managed IP PBX and hosted IP Centrex/hosted UC revenue together accounted for nearly three-quarters of all business VoIP service revenue; IP connectivity service revenue made up the balance.
In 2008, there were 106 million residential VoIP subscribers worldwide, the majority in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and Asia Pacific, where competitive operators and incumbent carriers are in an aggressive battle for subscribers. Deregulation plays a significant role in the adoption of VoIP in some countries, such as France, where it costs only $0.02 per minute for fixed-to-fixed line calls worldwide, making PC-based services such as Skype irrelevant.
NTT, France Télécom, and Comcast took the lead as the world’s largest VoIP service providers in 2008.