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Hosted VoIP on the up as SIP Growth Slows

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According to a recent blog post by illume, part of the Cavell Group, the Hosted VoIP market has seen exceptional growth in the first six months of 2015 with the total number of Hosted VoIP seats growing from 1,649,219 to 1,908,673 – a growth of 15.73%. This represents the largest growth that Cavell has seen in a six monthly period since we started tracking the market.

Providers who focus on the Large Enterprise segment (over 1000 seats) and providers who focus on the Micro segment (1-9 seats) have all added significant seats in the last six months and Cavell has again not seen much growth in the midmarket (50-500 seats). The growth from the large enterprise segment was encouraging as Cavell has seen providers in this space struggle to add seats in the past due to the length of time to migrate large legacy bases.

Cavell has also seen an increase in M&A activity in the last six months, both strategic and “fire” sales. Currently Cavell is tracking 86 Hosted VoIP providers in the UK of which a large number have revenues below £10m. With platform providers entering the market as well with their own cloud platforms (Avaya, Genband, Broadsoft, Mitel), the face of the UK market could change rapidly as competition may drive the market to consolidate further.

In a second blog post by the research firm they reported the SIP Trunking market failed to grow as fast as expected in the first six months of 2015 growing by a total of 219,512 (14.92%) to reach a total market figure of 1,690,440 SIP Trunks. In the same period in 2014 the market only grew by 137,612 Trunks so although the market did not growing as fast as expected, there is still considerable growth.

The growth was mainly driven by the Large Enterprise segment (over 1000 Trunks) and Midmarket segment(50-500 Trunks). Interestingly, the Midmarket performed better then Cavell had forecast previously, as there has historically not been much growth in that segment due to a lack of focus of providers and the unavailability of affordable access for customers.

What Cavell are seeing is that the PSTN End-of-Life, announced by BT to be 2025, is going to have a major effect on the SIP Trunking market in the next few years. We are already seeing providers such as TalkTalk offer free SIP Trunks with their network and believe that there could be a race to the bottom as providers compete with each other to get ISDN customers to move to SIP.

It will also be interesting to see if/when providers start to deliver their SIP Trunks with applications overlaid to try to stabilize the falling price of SIP Trunks. At the moment it is an immature market as many Service Providers position their SIP Trunks as an ISDN replacement service but we believe there will be a drive in the future towards SIP Application services.

Both of those blog posts can be viewed at https://matttownend.wordpress.com/