Doug on IP Comm – An independent voice on VoIP, telecom, and IP Communication

MetaSwitch, Nortel lay claims to the top of the VoIP softswitch hill

Posted on: June 10, 2009

Last week, MetaSwitch asserted that it had assumed the Carrier VoIP leadership position. This week, it is Nortel rolling out report to lay claim to the worldwide title based upon carrier softswitch revenues.  Are they both right? Or neither?   Lies, damned lies, and statistics should give anyone a headache.

MetaSwitch quotes Infonetics Research‘s Service Provider VoIP Equipment and Subscribers Q1 2009 report, citing stats that MetaSwitch is now the number one supplier of Class 5 softswitch licenses with 18.4 percent share. In North America,  MetaSwitch is pulling 60.1 percent of the market and Infonetics makes sure that it underlines vendor financial stability and market leadership in the quote they supply.

Turn to Nortel, who is very very touchy when it comes to where it sits on the food chain these days — have to keep the resale value up in the bankruptcy proceedings.  The company cites Dell’Oro Group and Infonetics Research for its claim to be the  worldwide leader with the largest revenues in the carrier softswitch market for the first quarter of 2009.  Dell’Oro Group has pulled #1 worldwide on softswitch revenue for the past seven years and Dell’Oro’s numbers from “Carrier IP Telephony report 1Q 2009” say Nortel has 20.3 percent global market share.

Pulling from the same Infonetics Service Provider VoIP Equipment and Subscribers Q1 2009 report as MetaSwitch, Nortel says it has maintained its worldwide revenue leadership position in softswitches and is the global leader in VoIP overall.  Based on revenue,  Nortel is the leader in North America with a 59.1 percent share. The same Infonetics analyst who provided the quote for MetaSwitch being a strong contender on the basis of softswitch licenses financial stability and market leadership says “Nortel operates from a position of strength as the leading incumbent vendor with more than half of all softswitch sales” in North America.

So who’s the real winner here? MetaSwitch, Nortel, or the analyst firms slicing and dicing the data?

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1 Response to "MetaSwitch, Nortel lay claims to the top of the VoIP softswitch hill"

It’s hard to compare these two.

When Nortel sells add’l equipment on a CS2000, even if it’s TDM interfaces for trunking, I suspect it books the revenue as softswitch revenue. With a big installed base, and a history of large customers, Nortel will continue to book big VoIP revenues on any systems they label “softswitch”. As an example, big systems used as tandems will have lots of revenue but not much in the way of end-user licenses.

MetaSwitch is working its way into those bigger carriers but does not (yet) have the huge installed base. I suspect that a lot of their revenue is from new system sales at the class five level with a significant number of subscriber licenses.

We can always re-define “winner”.

Revenues tell us more about how much customers are paying for their old decisions. I’d like to know how these two firms are doing as customers make new decisions.

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