VOIP penetration among US businesses to reach 20% by year-end 2004

VoIP for business users has quickly grown from a well-discussed technology, to a well-deployed technology. In-Stat/MDR forecasts the percent of US businesses using VoIP, as part of the corporate communications, has grown from 3% in 2003 to 12% in 2004. In-Stat/MDR forecasts that the penetration rate will be near 20% by the end of next year. Substantially higher rates of penetration are found within the larger business segments. In-Stat/MDR forecasts that middle market VoIP penetration will be at 34% by year’s end, and the enterprise at 43%.

Businesses currently still show a preference for VoIP deployment to have some LAN-based element, such as an IP PBX, as opposed to a totally outsourced solution, such as an IP Centrex. Based on an In-Stat/MDR online survey of 556 US businesses, current VoIP usage breaks out as follows:

  • 62% are using an in-house solution
  • 20% are using a service provider
  • 14% are using a combination of service provider and in-house solution
  • 4% weren’t sure how their VoIP deployment was done

However this preference seems to be diminishing for business that are planning to deploy VoIP. This is especially true in the SOHO and small business market segments. Of those firms surveyed who currently have not deployed VoIP, but plan to, their plan deployment broke out as follows:

  • 28% planned to have a strictly in-house deployment
  • 23% planned to use a service provider
  • 30% were planned to use a combination of in-house and service provider
  • 19% currently didn’t know