Videoconferencing to triple in five years as WFH and distance learning expand

Videoconferencing is exploding with COVID-19-induced work from home and distance learning, but the HD telepresence market is a big factor as holographic images are catching steam. (Getty Images)

Videoconferencing is expected to grow by more than three times in the next five years on the heels of the exploding work from home (WFH) and online learning trends, according to recent research from Global Market Insights.

The current market is valued at about $14 billion and is forecast to grow to $50 billion by 2026, the market research firm said on Tuesday.  That’s an annual growth rate of 19%.

WFH and online learning will become the norm as companies and schools await vaccines to treat COVID-19 in the next year, Global Markets said in a report.  Videoconferencing tools like Zoom and WebEx are becoming more popular but are still in their infancy, the firm said.

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Global Market Insights lumped videoconferencing services, hardware and software into its forecast, with the services market including managed and professional services.  Hardware includes Multipoint Control Units (MCUs), peripheral devices and codecs, while software is divided into on-premise and cloud-based software.

Peripheral devices include microphones, web cams and devices that deliver high quality audio and video.  There are room-based, desktop and telepresence units, with telepresence representing an ongoing shift to HD video quality.

Cisco for years has offered telepresence in specially designed conference room/studios, for example, while Huawei, Sony, Teleris, Microsoft and Digital Video Enterprises are competitors. Telepresence accounted for more than 40% of the global video conferencing market in 2019, the research firm said. Holographic telepresence is an emerging technology in that sector.

Healthcare will see substantial growth, the firm said, with remote surgery and health consultation via video adding to that growth. 

Latin America will see annual growth of 20% as nations there see greater internet penetration, the company added.   Asia Pacific revenues will expand by 23% a year, partly as a result of high-speed internet connections.  Government agencies are expected to increase use of videoconferencing as well.  The UK government in May considered using Zoom for conducting virtual parliament meetings, Global Market Insights said, while the Rail Land Development Authority in India conducted pre-bid meetings in April via videoconference.

In addition to Zoom, Cisco, Huawei and Microsoft, the analyst firm follows other videoconferencing competitors such as Adobe Systems, Avaya, BlueJeans Network, Citrix Systems, Fuze, Google, Highfive, Kollective, Lifesize, LogMeIn, MediaPlatform, Pexip, Polycom, ReadyTalk, uStudio, Vbrick and Vidyo.

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