This study focuses on the South African Hosted PBX and Unified Communications (UC) markets. BMI-TechKnowledge has analysed the South African PBX market over the past fifteen years and has adapted the scope of the study in the recent years to focus on emerging technologies, viz. the Hosted PBX and Unified Communications markets. Each year the scope is expanded to provide a more comprehensive look at key components of the UC market and industry.


Study focus areas and objectives

The study provides market sizing and segmentation of the Hosted PBX and UC platform markets, including active end points, average revenue per user, revenues, and market shares per segment. It also includes an analysis of how convergence and technology trends impact on both cloud-native and traditional PBX players in these markets, and how they are positioning themselves to capitalise on new opportunities.

Off-site hosted PBX and UC markets are researched both as platforms and as services. The platform element consists of the number of active seat licences and the ARPUs they attract, the number of attached terminals and the equipment revenue value of IP terminals shipped in each year. The services element consists of revenue analysis derived from licences, i.e. up-front charges and annuity revenue.

Unified Communications analysis includes:

  • leading platforms that started out in the UC&C space, most notably Microsoft Teams, to which call control functionality has been added;
  • traditional call control platforms to which UC&C functionality has been added.


Quantitative analysis and forecasts

Working off an historical database for the various segments, BMI-T uses quantitative and qualitative inputs received from interviews with PBX and UC system providers against the backdrop of previous year’s market models, to arrive at the best estimates of growth rates.

An installed base model is also constructed to develop a credible model of future growth forecasts, including shipments into new sites and the replacement market. The study also draws on secondary research, including a review of international trends, to inform the local market forecasts.

Market sizing, segmentation and forecast covers:

  • New PBX and CBX/IPT installations, by size category
  • Handsets / terminals
  • Augmentations and services associated with PBX solutions
  • Hosted PBX services
  • Unified Communications platforms and services
  • Associated Video Conferencing platforms



Hosted PBX and UC

  • Hosted PBX and UC end points
  • Attach-rates of UC features to Hosted PBX platforms
  • End-point and Revenue forecast
  • Single- versus Multi-tenanted
  • Supply side trends and key players (cloud native players and traditional premises-based PBX players)
  • Demand side trends


Attached Terminals

  • Installed base
  • Unit shipments
  • Revenue and forecast

Hosted Contact Centre

  • Broad brushstroke analysis
  • Active end points
  • ARPU
  • Revenue and forecast



  • Broad brushstroke analysis of premises-based PBX market
  • Historical context
  • Substitution by Hosted PBX and UC services



Key questions answered:

  • What is the size of the Hosted PBX and UC markets in terms of installed base and revenues?
  • How is the market segmented?
  • What are the market shares by key player?
  • What growth prospects are there in each category?
  • How quickly are off-site hosted voice solutions taking off, and what is the substitution impact?
  • Unbundled SfB/Teams and PBX Players’ UC revenues


Table of Contents

Report Overview


Market Overview

  • Executive summary
  • Size of the Market – Overview
  • Alternative forecast scenarios for cloud services
  • Global trends and local impact
  • Examples of ‘Virtual telephony’ or ‘OTT’ service providers
  • Market leaders
  • Terminology and classification

Hosted PBX and Unified Communications

  • Taxonomy – Hosted PBX
  • Global UC and Hosted PBX market
  • Hosted PBX Market Size and Forecast – Revenue
  • Hosted PBX Scenarios – Endpoints
  • Substitution between traditional PBX and cloud-based solutions
  • Single- vs Multi-tenanted End Points
  • Customer segmentation
  • Movers and Shakers
  • Description of hosted PBX solutions
  • Cisco and BroadSoft
  • PortaOne
  • Audiocodes
  • Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business (SfB)
  • UC offerings by PBX and Hosted PBX Players
  • O365 vs SfB/Teams vs Hosted PBX Penetration
  • SfB/Teams vs O365 Subscriptions
  • SfB/Teams and PBX Players UC revenue in context of total UC market


  • Terminals taxonomy
  • 2019 Terminals unit shipments segmentation
  • Terminals Unit Shipments Trend – PBX Vendors and Other Players
  • Terminals Shipments by PBX vendors
  • IP Terminals unit shipments by application – all brands
  • 3rd party IP Terminals unit shipments by application
  • 3rd party IP Terminals unit shipment market shares
  • Terminals unit shipments segmentation forecast
  • Terminals revenue in summary

Premises-based systems segmentation and forecast

  • Taxonomy
  • Segmentation classification – Premises-based systems
  • Size of the market – Premises-based systems
  • Market Size and Forecast – Premises-based systems
  • Premises-based PBX and CBX/IPT Unit shipments
  • PBX & CBX/IPT Unit Shipments by Segmentation Category
  • Small Premises-based PBX & CBX/IPT Unit Shipments
  • Large Premises-based PBX & CBX/IPT Unit Shipments
  • Revenue – Premises PBX & CBX/IPT by Segmentation Category
  • Revenue – Small premises-based systems revenue
  • Revenue – Medium premises-based systems revenue
  • Revenue – Large premises-based systems revenue



Research analyst

Brian Neilson (BMI-T Research Director and senior telecoms consultant).

Deliverables and format

The outcomes of the research and analysis are documented in a rich PowerPoint document with supporting tables in Excel. Clients are also entitled to a presentation/workshop in Gauteng (may be combined with other topics at BMI-T’s discretion).

Further information

For further information and details on how to subscribe to this research please contact Anita Mathews on 011 540 8000 or