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Wireless VoIP market to grow rapidly

VoIP and Voice over Wi-Fi markets are expected to be strong in 2007 and remain so through 2012.

Voice over wireless and WLAN sales to the enterprise are poised to grow strongly in the next five years, jumping from $2 billion in 2007 to $15 billion by 2012, according to a recent report from Juniper Research.

Such rapid growth is expected especially within the VoIP WLAN switch and mobility controller markets. Total expenditure is expected to be at almost $8 billion by 2012, growing from a current level of less than $1 billion. The North American market alone, with expected 2007 revenues of $500 million, will reportedly grow to $2.7 billion in 2012.

Supporting the need for VoIP WLAN switches and controllers, $155 million worth of VoIP Wi-Fi handsets, particularly the single mode handsets, are expected to ship in 2007. Shipment revenues are expected to reach $1.5 billion in 2012. The North American market will show strong growth in the next five years, with expected revenues of $600 million in 2012, up from a 2007 showing of $93 million.

VoIP access points are also predicted to show extremely strong growth in the next five years. Though revenues for VoIP access points stand currently at just under $1 billion, they are expected to grow to more than $5 billion by 2012. Current North American revenues stand at $442 million.

Juniper Research's report found that Cisco, during the next few years, will continue to be the undisputed leader in both the enterprise VoIP access point market and the VoIP WLAN switch/mobility controller market. Spectralink, recently acquired by Polycom, will lead the market for single mode VoIP over Wi-Fi handsets -- helped along by its OEM relationships with Avaya, Alcatel and Nortel, among others.

Basharat Hamid Ashai, author of the Juniper Research report, said that it will be difficult for any vendor to overcome Cisco's strong hold on the market because of Cisco's worldwide presence and huge available resources. He added that although they are not yet big or diverse enough to unseat Cisco as an overall VoIP market leader, other vendors, including Aruba Networks, Trapeze Networks, Proxim Wireless and Meru Networks, are in place to grow at a steady pace and on a par with one another.

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