Global VoIP Service Revenue on the Rise
Global revenue for residential and business voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) telephony services increased 3 percent to $33 billion during the first half of 2013, according to a report from Infonetics Research. This comes as businesses, especially large enterprises, are increasingly turning to hosted services as alternatives to on-premises solutions.
Infonetics further expects VoIP services revenue to continue to rise through 2018. Revenue from business subscribers is predicted to grow at a 7 percent compound annual growth rate through the next five years, while residential VoIP services are expected to see a 3 percent rise in revenue.
Another analyst firm, Visiongain, painted an even more lucrative picture of the market. It expects global VoIP revenue to total $75.8 billion in 2013. That growth, it notes, is also being driven by a growing number of business customers who are realizing efficiencies and cost savings by having voice and data services run through a single network.
According to Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, unified communications, and IP multimedia systems at Infonetics Research, residential VoIP services make up the majority of the current revenue, with residential VoIP subscribers numbering 203 million worldwide. The growth, however, is being fueled by business services, as SIP trunking and cloud unified communications continue to expand and find broader adoption among companies of all sizes.
Infonetics' research also found that activity in North America drove most of the 23 percent global increase in SIP trunking during the first half of 2013.
Nicholas Haug, director of digital marketing at Virtual PBX, believes VoIP service providers will have to work hard to meet the new demands. He sees huge opportunities—and a growing need—for companies to improve the performance of their VoIP networks.
Something as minor as a single iPhone accessing iTunes can dramatically impact VoIP call quality and the overall performance of a network, he says.
According to Haug, other things that can impact business VoIP call quality include the amount of bandwidth delivered by Internet service providers, the capacity of individual networks, and the number of other features and services, such as call-recording, auto attendants, and international and long-distance calling, running on or connected to VoIP networks.
And while these networks become more sophisticated, another challenge is protection against malicious attacks, which Transparency Market Research says can prove to be a daunting task for service providers and IT departments.
Some of the other factors restraining the growth of the unified communications market include a lack of interoperability between multivendor platforms and the high cost of initial investment, the firm said in its "Unified Communications Market: Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Trends and Forecast, 2012-2018" report. In it, Transparency also forecasted the unified communications market to reach $61.9 billion in 2018, up from $22.8 billion in 2011. That represents a compound annual growth rate of 15.7 percent through 2018.
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