Published: 10/03/2022
Author: Greg Collins

March 10, 2021, Burlingame, California, USA

During 4Q21, the total IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) market grew 17% sequentially to $637 million. The market was up 1% compared to 4Q20. Growth was led by the wireless-VoLTE segment, which grew 19% sequentially to $594 million and accounted for 93% of the total IMS market. Operators continued to invest in VoLTE as a way to prepare for 5G services, to modernize legacy equipment, and to cope with higher voice and messaging traffic prompted by the pandemic. Since 5G standards do not offer a method for initiating a voice call over 5G with a legacy, circuit-switched equipment, operators must invest in an IMS for such calls. Moreover, since 5G coverage will likely be insufficient in many areas for a number of years for voice, operators will need to use 4G voice, or VoLTE, to provide solid voice services.

For the full-year 2021, the total market (wireline + wireless/VoLTE) grew by 6% to reach $2.1 billion. We continue to expect that in 2022 growth will taper to 4% as VoLTE deployment growth slows somewhat after a strong 2020 and 2021, and price erosion partially offsets growth in session license shipments. Please note that, unlike in the chart, these figures are exclusive of the P-CSCF which is accounted for under Exact Ventures Session Border Controller Report.

The market leaders in 4Q21 were: Nokia, Ericsson, Huawei and Mavenir. Nokia gained market share in 4Q21 versus 4Q20 while most other vendors’ shares were relatively stable.

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