Sales of core IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) equipment and application server licenses were unseasonably strong in Q1 2012, leading market researchers at Infonetics Research to infer that North American telecompetitors are gearing up to launch the first Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) deployments.

Unseasonably strong, 1Q ’12 IMS core equipment and application server sales rose 1% quarter-over-quarter and 18% globally year-to-year, totaling $715 million, according to Infonetics’ “Service Provider VoIP and IMS Equipment and Subscribers” report. The North American market led the way, with carrier VoIP and IMS spending increasing 18% sequentially in 1Q and a whopping 76% year-to-year.

For 2012 as a whole, Infonetics forecasts that the number of mobile and fixed-line subscribers on IMS networks will grow 42%, to top 250 million by year-end.

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“In the first quarter of 2012 we saw the largest order of IMS core equipment and application server licenses on record, secured by Alcatel-Lucent — a clear sign that operators in North America are gearing up for voice over LTE (VoLTE) deployments. While commercial VoLTE services have yet to launch, this is a taste of what is to come as operators push forward over the next 5+ years. That said, large equipment orders will be sporadic and the IMS market will continue to be lumpy,” elaborated Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP and IMS at Infonetics Research.

“1Q12 was an unusually good quarter for the service provider VoIP and IMS equipment market not only because of the big IMS order for VoLTE, but also because of continued fixed-line network transformation, fixed-mobile convergence, and voice over broadband (VoBB) projects over IMS worldwide,” she added.

Also among the reports’ highlights are:

  • Globally, the overall market is up 18% in 1Q12 from the year-ago first quarter — despite continued declines in legacy trunk media gateway and softswitch sales — driven by strong IMS core equipment, session border controller (SBC), and voice application server sales
  •  In 1Q12, Alcatel-Lucent more than doubled its service provider VoIP and IMS revenue and market share, propelling them to the #1 position for worldwide market share, ahead of perennial leaders Huawei and GENBAND

 

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