Seeking to deploy new products and services, providers spent $1.73 billion on next-generation voice equipment in 2004, and Infonetics expects that number to reach $5.8 billion by 2008. On average, survey respondents expect to deploy these technologies in half of their central office facilities, and a third plan to implement the third generation partnership protocol IP multimedia subsystem (3GPP IMS) next year.
"Building upon the momentum established in 2004, service providers around the world invested in next-gen voice in record numbers in their quest for new services that would differentiate them from the competition and bring in revenue," Infonetics Research analyst and lead author of the study Kevin Mitchell said in a statement. "Carriers in North America and Asia continue down the modernization path, and Western Europe is awakening. We expect 2005 to be much like 2004 was for North America: a year when many more major carriers get behind VoIP and begin the long investment cycle and service rollout."
Half of the providers surveyed for the study are incumbent carriers, including three regional Bell operating companies. More than half, or 56%, are based in North America, with 25% from Europe, and 18% from Asia Pacific.