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World Telephony Market: A Regional Perspective

The global economic downturn caused companies to cut capital expenditures on telecommunications equipment, but not all regions saw the same results. Here’s a quick look at some of the differences we’ve seen; Frost & Sullivan clients can download more details at

North America
* North America is the most mature enterprise telephony platform and endpoints market, with around 40 percent of VoIP penetration--although tighter budgets, delayed decisions and business uncertainty severely reduced enterprise spending on new technologies

* The economic recession caused total telephony platform revenues to decrease by 27.7 percent in 2009.

* Avaya, Cisco, Nortel, Mitel and NEC were the top NA vendors in 2009. Regional providers such as ShoreTel, ININ and Vertical are gradually gaining traction in this market.

* In terms of vertical spending, although the financial sector suffered from the economic situation, 2009 saw positive signs from verticals such as higher education, healthcare and federal government, especially in the second half of the year.

* The largest region in terms of shipments and revenues, EMEA comprises mature telephony markets such as Germany, France and the United Kingdom (GFU); the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden; and the Benelux region of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg. Developing markets include the rest of Western Europe (e.g. Italy, Spain, etc.); Central and Eastern Europe (e.g. Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, etc.); and the Middle East and Africa (e.g. Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, etc.)

* EMEA was badly hit by the economic downturn in 2009, with total telephony platform revenues falling by around 31.1 percent.

* Siemens, Alcatel-Lucent and Aastra saw double-digit declines in terms of units and revenues, but this decline has been lower than the average world market drop. Aastra did particularly well with its 2009 shipments and revenues being relatively flat year over year.

* The least affected in terms of total telephony platform revenues, APAC seems to have weathered the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009 more successfully than other regions.

* Although the region experienced a moderate decline in North Asia (especially Japan), this was strongly offset by a positive growth in China, South East Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia ,Thailand, etc.), Australia and New Zealand (ANZ).

* NEC performed particularly well in the region mainly due to the continuous migration of its installed base of legacy NEAX 2400 and 2000 users to the SV8000 platforms. Other leading participants such as Avaya, Siemens and Cisco also did well in the region, addressing both the SMB space and large enterprises with a wide variety of solutions.

* In terms of verticals, while banking and financial institutions continued to hold back their technology spending, government entities across the region made some major investments in telephony systems and unified communications.

* 2009 was a tough year for the CALA market, which experienced about 27.1 percent decline in terms of enterprise telephony platform revenues.

* High prices, tough local regulations and limited amortization of installed legacy equipment were among the key factors that prevented vendors from increasing sales and reaching their annual targets.

* On a regional level, Brazil is still the largest market in terms of both lines shipped and revenues, followed by Mexico, the Southern Cone (SC), the Andean countries and CACAR (Caribbean and Central America).

* In terms of telephony dominance, Siemens, Alcatel-Lucent (that hit record sales in this region), Avaya and Cisco were the top vendors in 2009.