Convergence now a reality in Europe, says IDC

7 Nov 2003

After years of hype and little reality, European enterprises are now deploying voice over IP (VoIP) in their corporate networks or plan to do so in the near future, claims IDC.

IDC’s European WAN Manager Survey 2003, which looked at 625 companies in 10 European countries, found that 12pc of enterprises have integrated their voice and data traffic, with an additional 33pc planning to do so in the next two years.

As well as this, use of IP (internet protocol) PBXs (private branch exchanges) has increased since 2002 when 7.2pc of enterprises used a pure IP PBX and 7.8pc used a hybrid IP PBX.

The survey found that the availability of cheaper broadband in local access connections and lower leased line prices was a key driver of the growth of VoIP in Europe.

Growth in the deployment of IP VPNs (virtual private networks) was also a major factor, with 53pc of companies stating that they use an IP VPN service, up 30pc on the year.

The survey also found that more companies are looking to outsource WAN (wide area network) functions such as IP VPN management, voice/data integration and equipment management.

“While it has been another grim year in the European telecoms sector, this survey shows some encouraging signs that recovery may be on the horizon,” said Jill Finger Gibson, programme manager with IDC’s European Telecommunications Services Group.

By John Kennedy