IHS Markit: Service Provider VoIP and IMS revenue fell 8% in 2018; More declines expected

By Diane Myers, senior research director, IHS Markit

Global service provider voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) product revenue fell to $4 billion in 2018, a year-over-year decline of 8 percent. Overall worldwide revenue is forecast to decline at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2 percent from 2018, falling to $3.6 billion in 2022. This decline is caused mainly by slowing voice over long-term evolution (VoLTE) network deployments and competitive factors leading to lower prices. Big sales volumes continue in India and China, but pricing in those two countries is lower, which is stunting growth.

Huawei was the leading vendor in 2018 with 27 percent share of global revenue. Huawei was followed by Nokia with 23 percent and Ericsson with 20 percent. ZTE and Ribbon Communications rounded out the top five. For the full year, Nokia and Metaswitch were two noteworthy vendors posting revenue growth.

Service provider VoIP and IMS Market Highlights

  • North America was the only global region to post year-over-year growth in 2018, with VoLTE expansion and new rollouts, most notably by Sprint and Shaw. Sales in the region grew 7 percent in 2018, following a 7 percent decline in 2017.
  • As of November 2018, 137 operators had launched commercial VoLTE services, with more coming every year, but launches have slowed. Europe Middle-East and Africa launched 80 services, followed by Asia-Pacific with 35, North America, with 15 and Caribbean and Latin America with 7.

Service Provider VoIP and IMS Equipment and Subscribers Market Tracker

Each quarter, the “Service Provider VoIP and IMS Equipment and Subscribers Market Tracker” from IHS Markit provides worldwide and regional vendor market share, market size, forecasts through 2023, analysis and trends for trunk media gateways, SBCs, media servers, softswitches, voice application servers, HSS, and CSCF.

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IMS Backgrounder:

IMS began as a 3GPP technology for 3G mobile networks, but has been adopted as a broader standard. It is in the development and early testing phase, and its impact remains to be seen. IMS builds on the SIP protocol.

IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) is a generic architecture for offering multimedia and voice over IP services, defined by 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). IMS is access independent as it supports multiple access types including GSM, WCDMA, CDMA2000, WLAN, Wireline broadband and other packet data applications. IMS will make Internet technologies, such as web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging and video conferencing available to everyone from any location. It is also intended to allow operators to introduce new services, such as web browsing, WAP and MMS, at the top level of their packet-switched networks.

IMS Release 7 is also the basis for the CableLabs PacketCable 2.0 standard which is currently under development. This is an architecture specific to service delivery over broadband cable networks which covers VoIP, cellular integration and enhanced telephony.

Some of the possible applications where IMS can be used are:

  • Service Convergence (Caller-ID on TV, click to call from TV or web)
  • Presence services
  • Full Duplex Video Telephony
  • Instant messaging
  • Unified messaging
  • Multimedia advertising
  • Multiparty gaming
  • Videostreaming
  • Web/Audio/Video Conferencing
  • Push-to services, such as push-to-talk, push-to-view, push-to-video

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