Heavy Reading Reports on VOIP

China's telecom vendors stand to gain the most from global competition, new Heavy Reading reports conclude

August 31, 2004

3 Min Read

NEW YORK -- Efforts by Western telecom equipment manufacturers to break into the potentially lucrative Chinese market are actually helping upstart competitors in China to make their own significant inroads into Western markets, according to two major new studies released today by Heavy Reading (www.heavyreading.com), the market research division of Light Reading Inc.

The reports, "VOIP: A Comprehensive Competitive Analysis of Softswitches" and "VOIP: A Comprehensive Competitive Analysis of Media Gateways," analyze the product and market strategies of more than two dozen makers of voice over IP (VOIP) network equipment, universally regarded as the most important next-generation technology for the world's communications networks.

The reports are based on exhaustive competitive analyses of 94 different VOIP products, including 74 media gateways and 20 softswitches, and feature extensive comparative matrices delivering more than 10,000 distinct data points. Included in the survey are products from market leaders Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU), Nortel Networks (NYSE/Toronto: NT), and Alcatel (NYSE: ALA).

To enter China's closely controlled telecom market, Western vendors must demonstrate that their VOIP products can interoperate with those from Chinese manufacturers, notes Graham Beniston, Heavy Reading Analyst at Large and author of the reports. That interoperability is helping China's emerging suppliers sell their own products to Western telecom carriers, he concludes.

China's largest telecom vendor, Huawei Technologies, has already made significant inroads with one major Western carrier, BT Group. Beniston notes that VOIP interoperability will help Western marketing efforts by other low-cost manufacturers based in China, such as UTStarcom and ZTE.

Other key findings in the reports include:

Large incumbent carriers are under increasing competitive pressure to migrate from Class 5 circuit switches to softswitches. This pressure will guarantee VOIP's long-term success in the carrier market.

The future network cost and service revenue implications of picking a mediocre VOIP vendor are huge. Incumbent network operators of all sizes will be prepared to bite the bullet, cap their legacy systems, and explore technology options with new vendors, rather than make a long-term commitment to a legacy supplier with a less-acceptable product line.

The biggest vendors in the access media gateway market don't necessarily have the best products. Access and trunk media gateways from Alcatel, Cisco, Lucent, Nortel, and Siemens earned generally respectable scores in our product ratings, but they fell short of being at the head of the class.

"VOIP: A Comprehensive Competitive Analysis of Softswitches" is a 68-page report. "VOIP: A Comprehensive Competitive Analysis of Media Gateways," a 138-page report, includes the industry's first-ever rating of media gateway products by product and performance features. The two reports, published in PDF format, cost $4,995. The reports can be purchased separately for $3,495 each.

For more information, or to request a free executive summary, contact:

Dave Williams
Sales Director, Heavy Reading
[email protected]

Press/analyst contact:
Dennis Mendyk
Managing Director, Heavy Reading
[email protected]

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