Growth Spurt: The Asia-Pacific Next-Gen Voice Market
The Asia Pacific next generation enterprise voice (NGEV) services space, including 13 major Asia Pacific economies, reeled in a revenue tally of $114.7 million in 2005 and is projected to reach $1.13 billion by 2011, according to research by Frost & Sullivan. "Analysis of Asia Pacific Next Generation Enterprise Voice Services Market" also forecasts that emerging IP-based NGEV services, including IP Centrex and managed IP PBX, will represent 87 percent of the entire enterprise voice market in Asia Pacific by 2011, up from 2005's 15.7 percent.
The forecasted uptake in NGEV services will be driven primarily by increased demand for business voice services resulting from reduced prices, increased teledensity, and overall expansion of Asia Pacific national economies, according to the consultancy. Migration of Centrex users and the adoption of hosted telephony by new users, particularly among SMEs, are also primary motivators. "The Centrex market is fairly saturated and is expected to be largely replaced by a solution that offers enhanced features and cost benefits," wrote Krishna Baidya, senior research analyst at Frost & Sullivan, in a statement. "This will lead to a technology shift from Time Division Multiplexing Centrex to IP-based NGEV services."
Traditional telecoms in the enterprise segment, however, are facing increasing competition as emerging service providers, especially ISPs, home in on SMBs by delivering hosted telephony solutions, Frost & Sullivan says. The firm also adds that these solutions are often bundled with local calling capabilities, Internet access, a leased T1 line or DSL, unified messaging, and business telephony features. "Platform vendors are also continuously enhancing their solutions by adding new features such as unified messaging, Web-based service management, and conferencing, in order to be more competitive," the release states. "Hence, given the intense competition, telecom carriers may need to forge strong relationships with equipment vendors and channel partners to offer cobranded services."
At this early stage of market development, NGEV service providers will need to build customer awareness, attract early adopters, and secure competitive market positioning, according to Baidya. "Strategic partnerships and alliances could facilitate better market penetration. Companies ought to focus on core competencies and find the most competitive position in the value chain."
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