VoIP, Waiting for 2005


Ask anyone, and they will all tell you that 2005 is going to be a breakout year for the Internet Voice technology. Just like a teenager who gets his(or her) drivers license and burns rubber, many are expecting sales from VoIP to zoom, and of course raise the hype level around the technology. “We’re looking at a three-fold increase in growth just on our VoIP business next year,” Doug Bowlds, vice president at AAC Associates, a Cisco Systems partner in Vienna, Va., whose IP communications division represents about one-quarter of its $15 million in revenue, recently told CRN magazine.

According to CRN magazine there is a lot of interest in the VoWLAN technology, which is right now a niche curiosity really. John Freres, president of Meridian IT Solutions, a Cisco partner in Schaumburg, Ill., predicts that the volume of its VoIP sales opportunities to double in 2005 and more customers will adopt VoWLAN in 2005. The enterprise deployment of VoIP is eventually going to accelerate no doubt about it, but it is the consumer side of thinks I have some doubts. For instance, despite all the noise, even if VoIP goes through a 5-fold increase in consumer subscriptions, we will still have about 5 million users. Not bad, but not worthy of the speculative bubble that is beginning to form around VoIP biz. San Jose Mercury News thinks that the total users at end of 2005 will be around 2 million. Anyway I think it will be an interesting year to watch for VoIP.

So what are others predicting for VoIP in 2005? Jeff Pulver thinks Asterisk open source VoIP software platform is going to be making waves in 2005, while Mark Evans is predicting a deluge of VoIP initial public offerings in 2005.

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