Level 3 Fends Off Verizon for SIP Trunking Supremacy

Business Boxing

Level 3 Communications is tops in SIP trunking for the second year in a row, according to IHS Markit’s 2017 SIP Trunking Service Provider Scorecard. The annual report ranks and analyzes the top providers of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking services in North America.

Now in its ninth year, the Scorecard ranks SIP trunking providers not only on number of IP-connectivity trunks, but also market strategy, service capabilities, support options and overall financial stability.

IHS Markit's Diane Myers

IHS Markit’s Diane Myers

“Level 3 retained the leadership position in our Scorecard for the second consecutive year with the largest installed base of SIP trunks,” said Diane Myers, senior research director for VoIP, UC and IMS at IHS Markit.

No doubt industry consolidation will impact the rankings in years to come. As Myers notes, “We expect Level 3’s position to be strengthened going forward due to its acquisition by CenturyLink, [which] ranked third in this year’s Scorecard.”

Verizon was close behind Level 3 thanks to some wheeling and dealing of its own.

“Verizon came in as a strong second due to the acquisition of XO and its installed base,” Myers added. “The name of the game with the large network operators is consolidation, and it has absolutely impacted the top end of the SIP trunking market, resulting in fewer options for businesses.”

CenturyLink followed Verizon in third place, followed by telecommunications behemoths AT&T and Windstream, respectively. IHS Markit analyzed a handful of other providers in its report, including Birch Communications (a newcomer to the 2017 edition) ,IntelePeer, Sprint, Twilio and Fusion.

Myers says these companies’ efforts to become profitable are having an impact on service enhancements.

“Many of the top SIP trunking providers consistently continue to do the right things, but their strategic focus is on higher margin services, particularly unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and cloud contact center. In that regard, less work is going into service enhancements, but efforts on back-end operations do continue, particularly provisioning automation and customer portals.”

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