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IM To Help Boost Telcos' Revenues - Report

While the telecommunications sector continues in its slump, Internet protocol (IP)-based services like instant messaging and video conferencing will bring the beleaguered sector $28 billion in new revenues over the next five years, according to Insight Research.

IP-based services, like IM, unified messaging and audio conferencing, can be created less expensively than traditional phone services, the research firm said in its newest report, IP-Based Applications Services Market 2002-2007. Telecom companies over the next five years will be able to take advantage of those cost savings as they gradually migrate from the traditional circuit-switched phone network to an IP-based infrastructure, the research firm also said.

Audio, video, and Web-based conferencing services -- as well as instant messaging and unified messaging services -- will be the first applications to be seen by the public, but others are likely to follow.

"Services such as conferencing and messaging provided by phone companies are not necessarily new; what is new is the relative simplicity of service creation in the IP environment," says Insight Research President Robert Rosenberg. "The ease with which these services can be customized -- the new and different bells-and-whistles that will be added -- means that for the first time, customers will be able to differentiate one provider's offer from another's. The industry will be moving away from commoditized services to create truly unique solutions for each individual customer,"

Insight Research's new report examines Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP), H.323, and Session-Initiation Protocol (SIP), the softswitch architecture, and deployment scenarios for IP-based voice conferencing, video conferencing, Web/data conferencing, mobility management (follow-me) services, unified messaging, and instant messaging. Forecasts are provided for each service and segmented by the type of provider, including ILECs, IXCs, CLECs, ISPs, ASPs, and wireless carriers.

Ordering information is available online.

Bob Woods is the managing editor of InstantMessagingPlanet.