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VoIP and Unified Communications Services

Infonetics Research released the first of its biannual VoIP and Unified Communications (UC) services and subscribers reports, which now tracks SIP trunking, IP integrated access, and hosted UC in addition to residential VoIP, VoIP VPN/IP access, IP Centrex and managed IP PBX.

Demand for residential and business VoIP services continues to grow through the economic downturn because of the cost savings they provide. As a result, in 2008 the VoIP services market had healthy growth of 33 percent to $30.8 billion.

For the first 3 months of 2009, service providers experienced an average of 40 percent to 50 percent year-over-year growth for IP Centrex, indicating the demand for outsourcing and managed solutions remains healthy.

"We expect hosted UC services to take off, with worldwide revenue doubling between 2009 and 2013, and we forecast SIP trunking service revenue to hit an 89 percent compound annual growth rate from 2008 to 2013," said Diane Myers, Infonetics Research analyst.

Highlights of the Infonetics market study include:

- While residential VoIP services make up the bulk of VoIP service revenue, business VoIP service revenue growth outpaced residential in 2008.

- In 2008, managed IP PBX and hosted IP Centrex/hosted UC revenue together accounted for nearly three quarters of all business VoIP service revenue; IP connectivity service revenue made up the balance.

- NTT, France Telecom, and Comcast took the lead as the world's largest VoIP service providers in 2008.

- Deregulation plays a significant role in the adoption of VoIP in some countries, such as France, where it costs only $0.02 per minute for fixed-to-fixed line calls worldwide.

- Residential VoIP growth in Central and Latin America has grown stronger in the past year, particularly in Brazil where Embratel ended 2008 with 1.8 million subscribers to its NetFone service.

- In 2008, there were 106 million residential VoIP subscribers worldwide, the majority in EMEA and Asia Pacific, where competitive operators and incumbent carriers are in an aggressive battle for subscribers.

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