Wednesday, 09 February 2005 18:30

VoIP handsets start to gain traction


Worldwide WiFi VoIP handset revenue totaled US$45 million in 2004 and units totaled 113,000, according to research organisation Infonetics Research's latest report, "WiFi Phones Annual Worldwide Market Size and Forecast," which includes annual revenue and unit forecasts through 2009. Revenue and units are projected to show strong growth through 2009 as enterprises slowly but steadily continue to deploy voice over wireless LANs (VoWLAN).

Worldwide dual-mode WiFi/cellular handset revenue hit US$6.6 million in 2004, and units totaled more than 8,000, the report said. Units were only commercially available in 4Q04, so this represents a market at its birth; revenue and units are projected to grow dramatically by 2009 as enterprises take advantage of the opportunity to offer their employees flexible mobile access over different forms of wireless networks.

WiFi VoIP handsets represent a fairly small market currently, but one with great potential across several market segments. First, in the enterprise space, in logistics and healthcare verticals in particular, where VoWLAN is already gaining momentum but will become more widespread as both VoIP and wireless LAN adoption continue apace.

Secondly, there is potential for enormous growth in the consumer space, as broadband service providers offer both VoIP services and wireless gateways bundled with a broadband connection.

Thirdly, once prices come down, more dual-mode WiFi/cellular handsets will reach the market, enabling enterprise users and consumers to roam across wireless home networks, the corporate wireless LAN, and public W-Fi hotspots.
Infonetics' WiFi Phones report tracks VoIP handsets with integrated WiFi (802.11) functionality and dual-mode WiFi/cellular handsets, and provides 2004 market size totals, annual revenue and unit forecasts through 2009, and analysis of the WiFi phone market for all regions (worldwide, North America, EMEA, Asia Pacific, and CALA).


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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.



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