VoIP market growing fast in Europe

Sales for enterprise IP telephony infrastructure are growing 'every quarter', and small businesses are showing increasing interest

The market for enterprise IP telephony infrastructure in Western Europe continues to grow.

Sales for IP phones and switching systems both increased during the third quarter of 2006 with total revenues rising by 4.3 per cent to around $580m.

IDC, which monitors IP telephony markets in 16 European countries, recorded a 15.7 per cent increase in shipments compared to the previous quarter.

Revenues from IP PBXs contributed $393.6m with 1.4 million IP lines sold. The largest market share went to Cisco (34.2 percent), followed by Avaya and Alcatel. Both Cisco and Alcatel improved their market share during the period.

Around 58 percent of IP lines shipped went to medium-sized companies with 50 to 249 employees, while an increasing interest from small businesses saw them buy 18 percent of IP lines sold.

Rogier Mol, senior analyst for IDC, said that "every quarter" sees the number of IP PBX and IP telephone sales growing. And he said that apart from the need to replace existing infrastructure, this is driven by employees' need to "communicate with each other more efficiently".