Infonetics Research predicts “the PBX market is down slightly on a global basis in the second quarter of 2012, both sequentially and year-over-year, and enterprises generally remain cautious with their spending on telephony equipment.”

“Sales of PBX systems in North America are up five percent from the previous quarter and up 6.4 percent from the year-ago second quarter, and Latin America continues to be a small beacon of light as economies in the region experience growth and new business creation,” said Diane Myers, Infonetics Research principal analyst.

“While we still expect 2012 to eke out some growth compared to 2011, we have lowered our forecast slightly due to continued weakness in Europe, where many businesses continue to push off spending in an area where existing telephony solutions still get the job done,” Myers said.

In the second quarter, the enterprise PBX phone system market (TDM, hybrid, and pure IP PBXs) totaled $2 billion, down 2.6 percent from the previous quarter and down 1.4 percent from the 2011 second quarter.

Telecom services spending likely will be flat, on a global basis, according to Gartner researchers.

For its part, InfoTrack estimates U.S. spending on IP telephony and unified communications will increase by an average of 10 percent per year, led by spending on hosted IP telephony services, which will almost triple between 2011 and 2016.

Enterprise spending on hosted IP telephony will grow at an average rate of 27 percent, which is almost two times faster than the average increase among U.S. smaller businesses (firms with fewer than 500 employees). On the other hand, growth rates for UC apps over the next few years will be lead by smaller businesses.

“In 2011, SMBs represented 46 percent of the US installed base of IP telephony lines, but accounted for only 30 percent of the spending on UC applications.

“Over the next five years, the growth of SMB spending on UC apps will be more than twice the rate of U.S. enterprises, which represents the mirror image of what we project happening in the hosted IPT sector,” said Ken Dolsky, InfoTrack senior program director.

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