IP telephony services in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, are expected to grow to $US6.9 billion by 2005, according to IDC. This year the market was valued at $US213 million and IDC said it will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 104 per cent over the next five years. The major markets are Australia, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore, but IDC expects the next wave of growth to come from China, India and Taiwan, regulations permitting. Senior analyst Simon Chew said 2001 should be the take-off ramp for IP telephony hardware purchases in the region as its market is still in an embryonic stage. "Unlike the US and European markets where IP telephony services have been provided for some time, this market is still in its nascent stage in the Asia Pacific region; many Asian governments will open up or further deregulate their telecomms sectors to boost local economies," Chew said.