IDC: Voice/Data integration to surge in US

The number of large US companies -- those with more than 100 employees -- with networks that integrate voice and data services will grow from 27 per cent today to 48 per cent in the next 12 months, an IDC analyst said yesterday.

The demand for these "single pipe" networks is being fuelled by the convenience of managing both voice and data traffic on a single network, said Mark Winther, group vice president of telecommunications research at IDC.

The rise in voice/data integration, however, will be more modest in Europe, where the number of large companies with integrated voice and data networks is expected to grow from 21 per cent today to 27 per cent within 12 months, Winther said.

The priority of European companies is not so much to integrate voice and data but, rather, to increase their WAN's bandwidth, the analyst said.

The European countries with the highest percentage of integrated networks are Switzerland and Italy, he added.

These figures come from a recently completed survey of WAN managers in companies with more than 100 employees and from a variety of vertical markets, such as finance, manufacturing, retail and government. IDC surveyed 400 WAN managers in the US, 650 WAN managers in 10 European countries and 760 WAN managers in eight Asian countries.

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