IP telephony helps drive high video conferencing take-up


A new report has identified the increased availability of internet protocol (IP) telephony-based business phone systems as a key factor in helping to drive growth in the global market for video conferencing services.

The report, by independent analysts, Infonetics Research, reveals that in 2011, total sales worldwide for videoconferencing and other telepresence equipment rose by 34% to $2.99 billion; with the final quarter of 2011 alone showing a record-breaking increase in sales of $882 million over the previous quarter – a rise of 15%.

Infonetics Research cites a number of trends influencing this high take-up; including a cultural shift in favour of video for enterprise communications; and a rise in the volume and types of equipment capable of facilitating such communications.

The report however points to the increasing number of IP telephony systems now in use by enterprises as one of the strongest factors behind the growth in videoconferencing.

This is because, it says, upgrading enterprise IP telephony communications systems for videoconferencing purposes usually proves far cheaper than other methods of accessing videoconferencing.

Indeed, the report states, equipment suppliers offering videoconferencing solutions to enterprises with an existing IP telephony infrastructure, enjoyed the largest growth in sales revenue over the year – a rise of 80% on 2010 figures.

Infonetics Research says it believes that the global enterprise videoconferencing equipment market will continue to grow substantially over the next few years; and predicts that between 2012 and 2016 the amount spent by businesses on videoconferencing software and hardware will increase by $22 billion.

In related research, Infonetics predicts an increase in the IP telephony systems market over the next two years, largely owing to the more cost-effective routes available to enterprises of securing IP telephony; including session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking, and hosted services such as those offered by a business VoIP provider or VoIP reseller.