Strong Future Seen for Video Conferencing

Video conferencing markets will see their most significant volume growth, increasing from US$923 million in 2007 to US$1.88 billion in 2012, predicts consulting firm Ovum.

The largest growth rate will be in desktop video, said analyst Lucy Hipperson.

Ovum forecasts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22 per cent for desktop video revenues over the 2007--12 period. Desktop video provides high-definition video to enable face-to-face meetings without the need for a dedicated room. Desktop video can enable teams to work in a collaborative environment without the need to travel.

In the Asia Pacific, Ovum expects video conferencing revenues to grow from US$236 million to US$360 million.

Audio conferencing

Audio conferencing revenues will continue to grow in the next five-year period, but slowly, with audio revenues of US$3.4 billion in 2007 reaching US$4.2 billion in 2012, predicts Ovum.

"We see the largest volume growth in audio conferencing revenues in the China/India region, with a CAGR of 10 per cent over the next five years," said Hipperson.

In the Asia-pacific, Ovum sees revenues growing from US$691 million to US$993 million.

Audio conferencing provides one of the most cost-effective solutions to enable collaboration of two or more participants on a call.

Integrated conferencing

As a standalone solution, Web conferencing has not been adopted as readily as expected, said Hipperson.

However, demand for integrated conferencing will be significantly larger in five years, growing from US$63 million in 2007 to US$480 million in 2012, she believes.

"We see integrated conferencing -- audio plus one or more service such as web or video -- quickly replacing web conferencing. As service providers launch collaborative working solutions which enable end users to access all services (audio, web and video) via one Web portal, we expect demand will grow," said Hipperson.

In Asia Pacific region Ovum sees a trend towards operators offering multimedia tariffs for web conferencing and audio conferencing.

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