Softswitch projected growth numbers

The market for softswitches (define), the platforms that connect wireline phone calls to IP networks for Voice over IP, is poised for explosive growth through 2008, after a jump of more than 42 percent in 2003, according to In-Stat MDR. internetnews.com: As Goes VoIP, So Grows Softswitches

Well, well, well: the usual suspects are pumping growth in the telecom sector again. The numbers are smaller, but the growth still looks big. Here's some more number talk:

He said he expects to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 64.6 percent, between 2003 and 2008, resulting in revenues of $2.05 billion in the softswitch market.

In some ways, the "operating system" of these big vendors is another ripe target for replacement by open source vendors. If service provider A paid a bunch of money for their softswitch and provider B paid for solid hardware and open source software, who would win? Of course, things are never this simple. But if calls can be completed peer-to-peer today fairly simply, and if services (voicemail, etc.) can be provided in an equally distributed manner, then what is the function for these softswitches?

I guess I like to keep thinking about "What comes next?", even though it's going to be a while before there are a significant amount of people that can call each other directly over a VoIP network -- that is, not crossing over the PSTN at all.

(via ISPortal)