Higher telephony costs, greater integration of applications and more mobility are among the predictions for the telecommunications market from market analyst Gartner.
Companies will pay at least 20% more for telephony than they do today between now and 2012, said research VP Steve Blood.
Organisations still need enterprise telephony solutions, but as the focus on unified communications (UC) intensifies, new competition threatens the installed base of voice platforms and technology providers, he said. "This is driving technology providers to change their pricing models to defend their customer bases, which ultimately will mean businesses paying more for telephony," he said.
Research director Sandy Shen predicted that by 2012, more than 50% of consumers' primary mobile applications will come not from mobile carriers but from third-party providers.
"Application stores from major internet players, software companies and device manufacturers will reduce the attraction of mobile carriers' on-portal content," she said.
The keys to success for apps stores was installed base, and support from application developers and users, she said. She predicted the smartphone base in 2012 to be Symbain (58%), Android (18%), Microsoft (9%) and iPhone (6%).
Smartphones would account for 37% of global mobile phone sales to end-users in 2012, she said, and the mobile internet would improve access to third-party services, reducing the influence of mobile carriers' portals.
Research VP Scott Morrison said that more than 200 million workers worldwide will run corporate-supplied videoconferencing from their desktops by 2015, compared to seven million in 2008.
Spending on corporate-sanctioned videoconferencing to the desktop will grow from 13.9% of IT budgets, to account for a third of corporate spending on videoconferencing, he said.
Research director Daniel O'Connell said that by 2012, 40% of businesses will adopt a blend of cloud and premises-based approaches to meet their UC needs compared with an estimated 3% to 5% of businesses in 2009.
"The market is increasingly seeing UC applications migrating to the cloud," he said. "This will result in a hybrid delivery model whereby 40% of businesses will secure a portion of UC functionality via the cloud, with the remaining UC functionality supported through traditional premises-based applications."
Research VP Jean-Claude Delcroix predicted that at least 15 telecom carriers will get more than 10% of their revenue from non-traditional services by 2013. Opportunities in the mobile market are mainly in content and applications, including location-based services, mobile TV, advertising and payment services, he said.
Internet protocol television (IPTV) and video on demand (VOD) will be big in the fixed-line market, complemented by advertising, he said. "For a long time, the enterprise market has offered an alternative revenue source via IT services. This should expand via cloud-based services," he said.