"While the IMS Core market showed very strong growth during the quarter it is still a relatively small market, accounting for just 10 percent of the total—wireline plus wireless—voice core market," said Greg Collins, Founder and Principal Analyst at research firm Exact Ventures. "The transition away from circuit switching to an all IP core network based on IMS is just beginning and is expected to last well over a decade," commented Collins.
In 1Q12, Alcatel-Lucent led the IMS Core market on the strength of early VoLTE deployments in North America. Ericsson and Nokia Siemens also benefited from these deployments.
According to the report, the session border controller (SBC) and voice application server (VAS) markets will also gain from this transition. In 1Q12, the SBC market increased 15 per cent compared to the same quarter last year while the VAS market increased 39 per cent over the same timeframe. Legacy softswitch and media gateway markets continued to contract in the first quarter, due in large part from operators deploying and testing newer IMS solutions. Slower growth in voice traffic and price declines exacerbated this trend.