Study: VOIP adoption grows steadily

The largest US companies are leading the way in VOIP adoption, adding it to their corporate phone options as their traditional PBXs age, according to a study.

Among large businesses, 36 percent are already using VOIP equipment and VOIP services, according to an Infonetics Research study called "User Plans for VOIP, North America 2006."

Only 23 percent of midsize and 14 percent of small businesses have adopted VOIP gear and services, the study says, but the percentage among small businesses will triple by 2010.

The main reasons businesses give for deploying VOIP include integrating phone systems across different sites and converging voice and data networks.

But they also say they hope to save money on the cost of operating their phone networks, the study says, in part by paying less for long-distance calls. In fact avoiding toll calls is the top reason businesses consider VOIP, according to the study.

Infonetics has conducted a similar survey for the past three years and they show a steady rise in the use of VOIP that will continue for the next three years without a dramatic up-tick in the adoption rate, according to the author of the study, Mattias Machowinski.

He says the steady increase is due to businesses turning to VOIP as their traditional phone systems reach the end of their life or as voice service contracts expire. At the projected rate of adoption, a half to two-thirds of large businesses will use VOIP by 2010, he says.

Among the businesses surveyed, the most often used IP PBX vendors were Cisco, Avaya and Nortel, the study says.

The study compared the amount organizations spent on VOIP services in 2005 and compared that figure to projections of what they will spend in 2007. The amount spent on hosted VOIP services jumps from US$47,667 to US$63,799; the amount spent on managed PBX services jumps from US$10,865 to US$28,367.

The study also finds that the percentage of users accessing VOIP via Wi-Fi grows from 5 percent in 2006 to 20 percent in 2008.

The study was the result of interviews with 240 businesses using VOIP now or that will by 2007, as well as the results of 450 shorter interviews to determine VOIP adoption rates. Infonetics also conducted 150 interviews to determine why organizations were not deploying VOIP.

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