VoWLAN Starts to Break Down Office Walls says IDC

Voice over WLAN (VoWLAN) is often cited as one of the most important applications for deploying a WiFi network, and the promise of cost savings and extended mobility has made an increasing number of CIOs and network managers look at the option of adding voice to their wireless network. In a new study, IDC forecasts the Western European VoWLAN market to show healthy growth at 67% to reach nearly $700 million by 2011. While the market is currently still in its infancy, IDC expects the number of companies ready to implement VoWLAN to grow quickly in the next few years.

“VoWLAN in the enterprise is only now starting to attract widespread attention and is addressed in many calls for tenders that are currently out on the market. However, most of the current enterprise WLAN networks do not provide enough coverage to deploy a valuable voice network. Voice networks require pervasive coverage, something the existing networks often do not provide,” said Evelien Wiggers, research manager for European Enterprise Networks at IDC. “Moreover, when enterprises started to implement WLAN networks a number of years ago, they did not think about implementing VoIP and the need for prioritizing voice packets over data packets, and a number of the early installed access points are not ready to support voice.”

“Given the benefits that voice over WLAN can bring to an enterprise, we expect the number of companies ready to implement VoWLAN to quickly grow in the next few years. This will particularly be the case in large enterprises, whereas a large uptake in medium and small companies will only start to take off in the next few years,” said Rogier Mol, senior research analyst, European VoIP Infrastructure, at IDC. “Penetration will vary significantly by company size. While we expect only 2% of the small enterprises to have implemented VoWLAN, we expect 58% of the large enterprises to implement VoWLAN by 2011.”