Large Telecom Suppliers Firmly in Control of Softswitch Market New IDC Report Finds

FRAMINGHAM, MA – AUGUST 18, 2003 – According to a new report from IDC, the large telecom suppliers are now dominating the development and deployment of softswitch solutions in the worldwide market. This is in large part due to the effects of the telecom downturn, which have worked to rationalize the market and pare down the number of start-ups and smaller companies looking to make a mark in this arena.

"Because of economic distress, consolidation, and need for tactical migration, both large suppliers and carriers are now driving this market and are in a position to control the pace of development and deployment with respect to infrastructure conversion," notes Tom Valovic, author of the report and director of IDC's IP Telephony Program. The more prominent start-ups and smaller vendors that have survived the lean and capex-constrained environment of the last several years include companies such as Sonus, Telica, and Tekelec in the carrier gateway switch segment and Broadsoft, Sylantro, and VocalData which provide SIP-based voice application servers.

The softswitch continues to be the centerpiece of next-generation networks says the report. But it goes on to point out that not all of the large telecom suppliers are equally committed to the new technology. The telecom downturn has created a situation whereby some major vendors such as Lucent and Alcatel have either temporarily retrenched and slowed down their approach to this market or else are providing mixed messages as to their strategic intentions. The report also notes that this is hardly surprising because telecom turmoil has affected the entire industry. IDC expects that, barring exogenous factors, the situation will resolve itself moving into 2004.

IDC's recently released study, Worldwide Softswitch Forecast and Analysis, 2002 – 2007 (IDC #29818), examines the key market dynamics driving changes amid the generalized turmoil in telecom, assesses the market opportunity going forward, and provides a five-year forecast.

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