Feature Article

May 20, 2013

Carrier VoIP and IMS Equipment Market Sees Decline in Q1

Infonetics Research recently released excerpts from its Service Provider VoIP and IMS Equipment and Subscribers report, which covers vendor market share and revenue for the first quarter of the year in the space. Interestingly, the service provider session border controller (SBC) segment performed remarkably well, despite the overall next-gen voice market being down compared to the end of 2012.

"Service provider session border controllers had a stellar first quarter, passing the $100-million mark to hit an all-time high for a single quarter," said Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC and IMS at Infonetics Research. "Operators are working on complex network migration and voice-over-LTE deployment plans, with sales cycles happening at different times for different elements, and SBCs benefitted from this trend in the first quarter."

Overall, the global carrier VoIP and IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) equipment market dropped 11 percent in Q1, compared to the final quarter of 2012, hitting $712 million. IDC attributes this largely to a drop in sales of legacy equipment and voice application servers.

This level of performance is expected to continue throughout 2013, according to Myers, who stated that it will be a "patchy year while we wait for VoLTE networks in North America to kick in."

Meanwhile, IMS equipment sales topped those of next-generation voice equipment for the first time ever. This isn't too unexpected, however, as Infonetics' previous Service Provider VoIP and IMS Equipment and Subscribers report states that Q4 2012 market growth was in a large part due to strong IMS sales.

In terms of vendor performance, Infonetics named Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent and GENBAND as the top three VoIP and IMS market share leaders over the first three months of the year — a lineup unchanged from the previous quarter. Alcatel-Lucent was singled out as having a particularly strong quarter, along with Acme Packet, AudioCodes, Ericsson, Metaswitch and ZTE.

Finally, LTE activity and network transformation projects in North America led to growth of 26 percent compared to the prior quarter, making it the only region to post quarter over quarter growth, while Asia Pacific experienced a decline of nearly a third.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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