Expansion of IP Continues to Bolster Telecommunications Markets in Q1 2007

A new market report published by MZA indicated the first quarter of 2007 has shown some excellent sales results in the world of PBX and IP PBX. With the exception of the Asia Pacific market, all markets across the globe sold more PBX extensions than in the same period of 2006. Furthermore, the roll out of IP witnessed in 2006 has not lost any momentum in 2007 and growth rates remain impressive. Overall, excluding the micro PBX market, which is not considered in the figures quoted here, the global market reached over 15 million extensions – a total increase of 5% compared to Q1 2006.

Most growth was seen in the bullish markets of Latin America and the Middle East and Africa, which rose by 11% and 29% respectively. Any worries at the beginning of the year that falling confidence in the US market would negatively affect the situation in Latin America have so far been brusquely brushed aside; even the North American market itself remained defiantly resilient as the market saw volumes increase by 4% in comparison to Q1 2006.

Rising volumes in the Middle East and Africa helped the EMEA region to achieve one of the highest percentage growth rates seen for quite some time (9% up over Q1 2006), but it was a story that was made so much better by strong performances in Western and Eastern European markets. The three heavyweights in Western Europe – France, Germany and the UK – all saw rises of 5% or more. In fact, the only markets to record a decline at all in Western Europe were tiny Luxembourg, the Netherlands and, most markedly, Italy. Meanwhile, the Eastern European market grew by 7% compared to Q1 2006.

The top three manufacturers globally were Panasonic, Avaya and Nortel. Of the top three, only Nortel registered a decline in comparison to Q1 2006. Panasonic’s position as global leader continues to drive home the message of the importance of the below 100 extensions market, especially in the growing emerging markets. In Latin America and the Middle East and Africa, for example, MZA’s study found that the below 100 extensions market accounts for nearly 70% of extension sales in those regions, against a global average of just under 60%!

IP Extensions Market

The MZA study reveals that in Q1 2007, IP extensions increased by 25% in the total global marketplace, with penetration running at more than 15% on average. Growth in the above 100 IP extensions market was almost 30% in comparison to Q1 2006, while growth in the below 100 extensions market was less than half of that. Western Europe saw its IP increase by 32%, while North America saw volumes increase by 14%. This means that Western Europe is slowly eating into North America’s market share of IP extensions. In the same quarter of Q1 2006, Western Europe represented 27% of IP extensions globally; this is now 29%. Conversely, North America has seen its share drop from 50% to 46%.

Cisco Systems remains the leading force in the IP world as they sell over 40% of all IP extensions globally. Over the last few quarters, this figure has not changed, despite vigorous efforts by other manufacturers. To retain the lion’s share of the market with predators on all sides is a noteworthy achievement, although both Mitel Networks and Avaya demonstrated a robust performance – certainly complacency is not an option in this increasingly competitive market space.

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