2004 was a break-through year for voice over IP adoption, especially in North America, and 2005 is shaping up for more of the same, according to Infonetics Research. Service providers invested $1.73 billion in next gen voice equipment worldwide in 2004. Infonetics expects worldwide spending to grow to $5.8 billion by 2008. Top drivers cited by service providers for deploying VoIP: new applications and services, capital expenditures, and open/standards based interfaces. 30% plan to use the 3GPP IMS reference architecture in 2006. VoIP is seeing further penetration, with an average of half of respondent central offices (COs) deploying next gen voice gear by 2006. A majority are using next gen voice equipment for new voice and IP multimedia services now.