Efforts by Western telecom equipment manufacturers to break into the potentially lucrative Chinese market are actually helping upstart competitors in China to make their own significant inroads into Western markets, according to two major new studies released today by Heavy Reading, the market research division of Light Reading Inc.
The reports, "VOIP: A Comprehensive Competitive Analysis of Softswitches" and "VOIP: A Comprehensive Competitive Analysis of Media Gateways," analyze the product and market strategies of more than two dozen makers of voice over IP (VOIP) network equipment, universally regarded as the most important next-generation technology for the world's communications networks.
The reports are based on competitive analyses of 94 different VOIP products, including 74 media gateways and 20 softswitches, and feature comparative matrices delivering more than 10,000 distinct data points. Included in the survey are products from market leaders Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU), Nortel Networks (NYSE/Toronto: NT), and Alcatel (NYSE: ALA).
To enter China's closely controlled telecom market, Western vendors must demonstrate that their VOIP products can interoperate with those from Chinese manufacturers, notes Graham Beniston, Heavy Reading Analyst at Large and author of the reports. That interoperability is helping China's emerging suppliers sell their own products to Western telecom carriers, he concludes.
China's largest telecom vendor, Huawei Technologies, has already made significant inroads with one major Western carrier, BT Group. Beniston notes that VOIP interoperability will help Western marketing efforts by other low-cost manufacturers based in China, such as UTStarcom and ZTE.