Despite increased activity in the carrier VoIP and IP Multimedia Subsystem equipment market in the fourth quarter, the segment tracked down for the year, according to a new report from Infonetics.
The research company, in its quarterly Service Provider VoIP and IMS Equipment and Subscribers report attributed the 2 percent slide to poor performance in legacy trunk media gateway and softswitch sales.
Analyst Diane Myers said she expects the market to rebound in 2012.
"We'll see this trend shift starting this year as the high-growth market segments--including IMS core equipment and session border controllers--become collectively large enough to offset the ongoing declines of the legacy products."
For the year, Infonetics said the global VoIP and IMS equipment market continued its four-year decline with revenues of $2.6 billion, off 2.1 percent, despite a fourth quarter bounce over the preceding period of nearly 16 percent to $690 million. North America and EMEA saw the strongest fourth quarter, posting carrier VoIP and IMS sales growth of more than 20 percent each, while Latin America was the big standout for the full year, with a 34 percent increase in carrier VoIP and IMS equipment sales. VoIP activity, particularly in Brazil and Mexico, is seeing strong growth in the region.
Myers said 2012 should be a bounce-back year, forecasting strong IMS sales globally that will bring the market to $3.8 billion, a 46 percent increase. She expects the number of global IMS-based subscribers to grow from 177 million in 2011 to 610 million in 2016.
IMS network deployments at large service providers like AT&T, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom and NTT, which are undergoing network transformation projects, cable operators like Comcast that are migrating to new networks and wireless operators like Verizon Wireless that are launching IMS for their LTE networks, are driving the market's growth.
Among the vendors posting notable growth in the VoIP and IMS market in 2011 were Huawei, Genband, Alcatel-Lucent, and Acme Packet, with Huawei ending 2011 on top of the overall carrier VoIP and IMS market, just ahead of Genband.
Source: Fierce Enterprise Communications