Pure IP uptake slow, EU happy with hybrid

Hybrid PBX systems are the order of the day in Europe, despite pressure from Internet-friendly companies like Cisco and 3Com
Written by Tony Hallett, Contributor

On this side of the Atlantic, companies are increasingly using converged IT and communications systems; but pure IP telecoms infrastructure remains very rare.

In the EMEA region, the latest figures show the purchase of 4.1 million telephone lines during the first quarter of this year. But only 3 per cent were connected to all-IP telecoms systems.

A more common approach, according to the publishers of the research, Canalys, is for equipment companies to integrate IP functionality with traditional PBX phone systems, giving users the ability to move onto IP. The idea is pitched as providing the reliability of circuit-switched PBXes alongside the reduced costs and flexibility of IP.

Canalys found Alcatel and Siemens are leading this market in EMEA, ahead of more internet- and IP-focused vendors.

Sandy Fitzpatrick, Canalys director and senior analyst, said in a statement: "The pure-IP telephony vendors, notably Cisco and 3Com, in part due to their US-centric, internet-dominated view of the world, have consistently underestimated the competitive strengths of the more established PBX manufacturers, such as Alcatel, Siemens, Nortel and Tenovis."

She also criticised a focus on larger users who tend to be slower to adopt new technologies.

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