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41 percent of voice equipment in wireless operator networks is IP


iLocus today published its 11th annual VoIP industry report. Apart from providing annual industry statistics, the report provides industry’s first estimates related to the extent to which world’s voice network has migrated to NGN/softswitch based technology.

According to the report, on a cumulative basis, vendors have shipped an estimated total of 283 million NGN voice subscriber licenses in the wireline segment. There are an estimated 1.27 billion subscribers lines in wireline networks worldwide, which implies that round about 22% of the total subscriber capacity in wireline networks has migrated to NGN voice. An estimated 116 million of these lines are IMS or Pre-IMS.

NGN/Softswitch has comparatively performed better at the hardware level. An estimated 41% of the voice gateway ports in wireless networks are NGN now, compared to around 58% in the wireline. However, the number of NGN voice ports shipped in wireless is almost double the volume shipped for wireline networks. These findings dispel the notion that softswitch deployments are still in infancy and that there are limitless opportunities for vendors to ship softswitches for the foreseeable future.

Market reports on softswitch/NGN equipment analysis have focused on market shares and volume of equipment installed each period (year or quarter). No attempt has so far been made to estimate what proportion of world’s voice network is already NGN/softswitch based. iLocus report provides the first firm estimates of this kind to the industry.

Majority of NGN/softswitch action has been witnessed on the trunk/Class 4 side where it has made its biggest impact. What primarily drove the Class 4 softswitch in wireline network was equal access and the growth of wireless networks driving huge requirements for interconnects. In the wireless networks the industry saw migration from 2G to 3G to handle that growth and prepare networks for 3gpp.

In the US majority of wireline TDM lines are now NGN as is the case in Western Europe. Italy has the highest percentage component of NGN voice element, followed by France and the UK. Out of BRIC countries, China seems to have the most advanced wireline network in terms of the proportion of NGN/Softswitch component in carrier networks there.

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