It’s been talked about for years, but there are growing signs that convergence of voice and data is finally about to happen.

The latest evidence is a survey of Nortel users that has revealed that 30 percent of enterprise customers have already converged their networks, with another 61 percent set to do so in the next five years.

About 100 of Nortel’s customers were surveyed by market research company Mindwave Research. Reasons given for opting for an integrated voice/data network were ease of integrated applications deployment, the ability to deploy enhanced voice functions, and reductions in wiring costs and the cost of moves.

Converged in voice and data was not the only technology that captured the attention of business. The survey found that 14 percent of the companies were already deploying wireless LANS, while another 20 percent were doing so in selected departments.

The long-term prognosis for the technology is good: 86 percent of Nortel customers believe that wireless LANs will increase employee mobility in time. But many had reservations: 71 percent of companies surveyed said that their companies were investing in advanced security solutions for wireless networks.

"Nortel Networks customers have always been at the forefront of technology adoption," said Greg Merritt, vice president, marketing, Enterprise Networks, Nortel Networks. "We are committed to helping our customers achieve their network vision while providing a cost-effective and flexible roadmap to convergence."