Hosted PBX is the reigning portfolio item for VoIP providers when it comes to popular services sold to SMBs, beating out even the highly publicized SIP trunking.
A survey of more than 60 percent of small and medium-sized U.S. licensed VoIP operators from VoIP Logic aimed to take a look at the market to better understand the scope and range of market offerings and competition. “Smaller VoIP service providers in the U.S., by sheer numbers, make up 80-90 percent of the organizations selling VoIP technology,” said Micah Singer, VoIP Logic CEO and co-author of the report. “Because these operators have not achieved scale and, in aggregate, account for around 25% of VoIP service revenue, they are generally under-represented in market reporting.”
When it comes to the spectrum of IP services on offer, hosted PBX is by far the most common service offering among all VoIP service providers, with 74% of all small and medium-sized providers supplying the service, the report found. That’s followed by basic Internet service was the next most popular, at 42.8 percent, followed by SIP trunking (30 percent) and residential VoIP (22.2 percent).
A vast majority, 89 percent, of the targets for hosted VoIP are SMBs.
“Following on current trends in VoIP services, it was our expectation that SIP trunking – an easier service to deploy – would be the most prevalent,” Singer said in the report.
Other data points in the research include the fact that open-source application server technology dominates among smaller providers in terms of infrastructure. And, application server technology is directly linked to target market with Asterisk-based providers focusing on SOHO and small businesses, while providers employing carrier grade technology from companies like BroadSoft and MetaSwitch tended to focus on SMB and enterprise clients.
On the client front, Polycom and Cisco telephones combined are offered by more than 55 percent of VoIP service providers. Softphones are still offered by only 2.1 percent of VoIP service providers as a primary option.
Overall, small and medium-sized VoIP service providers generate annual revenue of $18 million or so. And they’re often bundling the VoIP technology as part of a residential, hosted PBX or other unified communications service offering. “We were interested to learn what services are bundled with VoIP technology, what technology is used to serve which target customers and demographic data points on the companies that make up this unique sub-set of VoIP service providers,” Singer said.