Infonetics sees rise in corporate IP telephony sales

The rise in Internet Protocol networking, along with the applications it enables, is continuing to drive demand for IP private branch exchanges (PBXs) and phones, according to a recent study released by Infonetics Research Inc. of Campbell, Calif.

In its Enterprise Telephony report, Infonetics said sales were US$2.6 billion during the third quarter of 2007, up 11 per cent from the same period in 2006.

The report tracks shipments of PBXs, handsets, gateways and soft phones.

The big surprise during the last quarter was the increase in sales of time division multiplexing (TDM) equipment, which had been steadily declining as companies install converged voice and data networks, said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for voice and data at Infonetics.

Machowinskim thinks the recent increase was an anomaly and predicts TDM shipments will decline, adding the overall growth was in line was previous forecasts.

“It looks to be pretty a much a repeat in terms of market growth,” he said, adding Infonetics predicts the market will grow by nine per cent in 2007, after experiencing eight per cent growth in 2006.

The five largest vendors account for nearly 70 per cent of the market, Machowinski said.

Cisco Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif. has 16 per cent market share, when measured by lines shipped, while Murray Hill, N.J.-based Avaya Inc. has 15 per cent of the market.

Brampton, Ont.-based Nortel Networks Corp. is No. 3 in the overall telephony market, while Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent and Munich-based Siemens Enterprise Communications GmbH & Co. KG lead the market in Europe.

Nortel leads the TDM market, having shipped 17 per cent of all lines during the third quarter.

Another Canadian manufacturer, Mitel Networks Corp. of Ottawa, had four per cent of the market during the third quarter. However, Machowinski said Mitel’s shipment figures do not include products from Tempe, Ariz.-based Inter-Tel Inc., which Mitel acquired last August.

Sixty-four per cent of lines shipped had both TDM and IP functions, while 18 per cent were pure IP and 17 per cent of equipment supported TDM only.

“We definitely saw an uptake in pure IP end points,” Machowinski said. “The customers are starting to buy IP phones instead of buying an IP PBX that will support a legacy TDM phone.” Enteprises are using converged IP networks to help integrate desktop and telephony applications, Machowinski said.

“With this move to IP we are seeing more interest from customers in unified communications applications,” he said. “If you can click to call or get all your messages cohesively in one inbox, or see the presence data of your co-workers, that will have the biggest impact on users, I think.”

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