European companies are beginning to deploy voice over IP (VoIP) in their corporate networks, or will in the near future, according to research.
IDC's European Wan Manager Survey 2003, a survey of 625 companies in 10 European countries, found that 12 per cent of respondents are integrating their voice and data traffic now, while a third plan to in the next two years.
Usage of IP PBXs has also increased since last year's survey.
IDC said a key driver of interest in next-generation applications, such as VoIP, was cheaper bandwidth due to broadband rollout and declines in leased line prices.
Growth in the deployment of IP virtual private networks (VPNs) is also a major contributor: more than half of the companies surveyed said they used an IP VPN service, up from less than a third the previous year.
The research also revealed that companies are looking to outsource Wan functions, such as IP VPN management, voice/data integration and equipment management.
"While it has been another grim year in the European telecoms sector, this survey shows some encouraging signs that recovery may be on the horizon," said Jill Finger Gibson, programme manager with IDC's European telecoms services group, in a statement.
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