Big hot trend in Asia Pacific: video conferencing

Japan and Australia leading Asia-Pacific videoconferencing infrastructure growth

Market research firm Frost & Sullivan has said that emerging economies will continue to invest in the communications and conferencing infrastructure market, despite fears of economic restraint from the US economy.

The Asia-Pacific videoconferencing infrastructure market has seen considerable growth in the last two years largely due to the rising demand from the emerging power economies of China and India, and to a lesser extent, ASEAN countries. These nations are increasingly enhancing their communications infrastructure, keeping pace with their economic growth, according to Frost & Sullivan's Video Conferencing Infrastructure Market report.

Even mature markets such as Australia and New Zealand are demanding complete infrastructure solutions, further contributing to the overall growth in Asia-Pacific, said Frost & Sullivan analyst Pranabesh Nath.

Nath said that the latest study covered six sub-regions (13 countries) in Asia-Pacific -- and showed earned revenues of US$80.9 million in 2007 and estimates this to reach US$245.3 million by end-2014, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 17.2 percent (2007-2014). (For further information, visit www.conferencing.frost.com.)

The videoconferencing infrastructure market includes all videoconferencing bridges or MCU (multipoint control units), gateways, gatekeepers, firewalls, NAT (network address translation), and management and scheduling tools and software.

Asia Hot Zone

The geographic expansion of organizations, especially in emerging countries, has been one of the biggest drivers of the videoconferencing infrastructure market, Nath explained.

"Studies revealed that Greater China accounted for 63.3 percent of the total Asia-Pacific market in 2007 with revenues growing at a blistering 39.6 percent year-on-year. India was another high growth market as revenues rose 28.8 percent. In both these countries, the government and corporate sectors make up the bulk of domestic demand," he said.

India accounted for 6.4 percent of the total revenues, Japan - 16.8 percent, Australasia--7.7 percent, South Korea and ASEAN--each at 2.9 percent.

"Gradually changing work cultures that favor videoconferencing, improved network connectivity and bandwidth availability in most parts of Asia, a focus on improving productivity, and travel cost reduction are the other major factors for the surge in demand," said Nath.

Nath did sound a note of caution, though: "This growing demand however needs to be sustained with continuously improving videoconferencing solutions and innovative features and functionality at economical prices, in order to counter competition from lower-cost audio and web conferencing alternatives."

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Avanti Kumar

Computerworld Malaysia

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