Global sales of service provider voice over IP equipment totalled $1.71bn in 2004, a healthy 36 per cent gain over 2003, according to research.
The latest quarterly market share and forecast service from Infonetics Research predicts revenue to reach $5.9bn in 2008, representing a five-year compound annual growth rate of 36 per cent.
"We're starting to see strong equipment sales translated into tangible services," said Kevin Mitchell, directing analyst at Infonetics and author of the report.
The research found 1.1 million residential/SoHo voice over IP subscribers in North America in 2004, but predicts this number to reach 17.4 million by 2008.
North America was identified as "a hot spot" in 2004 as carrier adoption of VoIP accelerated, the report found.
"As we move deeper into the 21st century, it becomes more apparent that IP networks are the next-gen networks for all forms of communication. It's hard to find a carrier not modernising its network with VoIP or planning to do so," said Mitchell.
In what Infonetics describes as a "very fragmented market", Sonus was identified as the worldwide media gateway market share leader in 2004with 16 per cent, while Cisco was second for the year. Nortel led the soft soft switch market for 2004 and for both class 4 and class 5 applications.
A geographic breakdown for total VoIP product shipments in 2004 shows that North America accounted for 48 per cent of the total, EMEA 19 per cent and Asia Pacific 28 per cent.
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