The first quarter buying blues that sunk the Ethernet switching market hit IMS and next generation VoIP equipment last quarter, reports Infonetics Research in its latest "Service Provider Next Gen Voice and IMS Equipment" report due to be released on Wednesday.
The market dropped 7% to $722 million in the first quarter of 2006, but still remained 48% higher than first quarter, 2005 and is expected to remain strong over the next few years reaching $6.2 billion in 2009.
The report highlights three emerging trends. First, session border controllers (SBCs) could be used as the traffic cop ensuring VoIP security, and as the security gateway in IMS acting as a P-CSCF, says St?phane T?ral, directing analyst at Infonetics Research. Manufacturers of SBCs include Acme Packets, Data Connection, Ditech Communications, Huawei Technologies, IntereXchange Carrier, Juniper Networks, NeoTip, Netrake, Newport Networks, NexTone Communications, Veraz Networks, and Versatel Networks.
Second, media servers are evolving to become the MRF (Media Resource Function) in IMS architecture. MRFs control the multimedia resources within the IMS architecture, providing such functions as resource provisioning and media mixing and processing.
And third, while softswitches are still growing, the pace of IMS deployments -- along with service providers' willingness to find alternatives -- may lead to a diminishing role of softswitches, says T?ral