With IP set to mushroom, VARs must position themselves to take advantage, according to Bill Archer, EMEA president of AT&T.
Archer claimed the fact that technology and business are converging around voice over IP (VoIP) will make it the dominant force in the telephony market. The UK, with a mature technology market, is ideally positioned to take advantage, he said.
"IP is going to overwhelm everything," Archer claimed. He said three factors are boosting the VoIP market.
"First, there's the maturity and availability of Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) over IP platforms," he said.
"Second, we've seen an explosion in access to functional, economical devices for end-point providers such as VARs. Finally, set standards mean VoIP isn't experimental but a deployable service. Standards such as 802.3af (Power over Ethernet) simplify installing a VoIP phone network."
But overall, Archer said, the telecoms market is still not over its over-capacity problems and firms are still conservative with spending plans.
This will continue until the market has seen a period of sustainable growth, he predicted.
Iain Stevenson, service director for broadband at analyst Ovum, said: "There have been some increases in spending and venture capitalists are looking at investments again.
"It's not that there's nothing there to spend, it's just that people are being more realistic about projects. But you need other things to run a VoIP system. MPLS is a technology for managing bulk traffic over the network, but that alone won't secure the success of the VoIP market."
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