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.