A new report by Dell’Oro Group found that carrier IP spending grew in the third quarter of 2015 and will continue to grow through 2016.
"We expect by the start of 2016, there will be twice as many service providers that have begun offering VoLTE as compared to the middle of 2015. Expansion in Europe and Asia have begun in earnest and this is driving significant capital spending on IMS core, voice application servers and session border controllers,” Chris DePuy, vice president at Dell'Oro Group, said.
Overall industry revenues grew by 2 percent year over year in the third quarter.
DePuy said that part of this growth was the rush by carriers to implement new features.
“Since the launch of Wi-Fi calling on the Apple iPhone just over a year ago, service provider spending to support this feature has accelerated," he said.
Mobile technology is really what’s spurring on this growth in carrier IP infrastructure. IMS core, voice application servers, session border controllers and media gateways are all driving this growth. Many of these technologies also make it easier for carriers to support more demanding mobile applications.
Through 2016, Dell’Oro believes that the Voice over LTE (VoLTE), Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) and SIP trunking will continue to grow. This reflects the trend of carriers upgrading their legacy equipment to IP-based equipment that is cheaper and easier to maintain than the legacy equipment. This also lets them support new features more quickly as smartphone vendors introduce them, such as Wi-Fi calling.
It also shows how the humble TCP and IP protocols, defined in their modern form in the early 1980s, have come so subsume almost every other communication protocol. With the growth of mobile, many carriers are moving their back ends to IP in order to keep up with the demand that smartphone users are placing on their networks.
As more people move to smartphones, especially in the developing world, carrier IP will simply be the way these carriers handle all the traffic.