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U.S. Telecom Spending Hits $784 B In 2004

Total spending in the U.S. telecommunications market grew significantly in 2004, according to figures released Tuesday by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).

According to the TIA's 2005 Telecommunications Market Review and Forecast, total spending for 2004 was an estimated $784.5 billion, an increase of 7.9 percent over the previous year. The percentage gain was also a marked step forward, from gains of just 3.6 percent in 2003 and 1.9 percent in 2002, the TIA said.

The review also said that equipment and software purchases increased for the first time in three years, with a 4.7 percent advance to a total of $15.8 billion. The TIA predicts that growth will continue for the near future, to an expected yearly total of $22 billion by 2008.

The TIA's review also predicts strong growth for VoIP services, in both residential and business markets. According to the review, VoIP lines increased from a total of 3.8 million in 2003 to 6.5 million in 2004. By 2008, the TIA predicts 26 million users will have VoIP.

TIA said international telecom spending in 2004 reached a total of $1.4 trillion, up 10.2 percent over the previous year. The TIA expects the international telecom market to grow at a faster pace than the U.S. market, reaching a yearly total of $2 trillion by 2008.