IP Telephony News Wrap-up for Apr, 12 2005

1. AOL Launches Primary Line VoIP in 40+ U.S. Markets
AOL has launched VoIP services in more than 40 U.S. markets, offering a series of plans ranging from $23.99 per month for local service to $34.99 per month for local plus unlimited long distance calling within North America. All plans include call forwarding, call logs, online account management, click to dial functionality, and e911.

Consumers that are not already AOL subscribers are offered 6 months of high speed Internet access and phone service for $29.99 per month. After 6 months, the bundled services are available for $39.99 per month.

AOL, like Skype/Kazaa, benefits from having its own platform to advertise in front of millions of consumers. However, AOL may not be able to develop into a leading provider because its members tend to be less tech savvy and early adopter types than other Internet users. AOL’s VoIP effort may be like selling Palm Pilots to patients in nursing homes.


3. AOL to Use NetCentrex’s VoIP Solution in Germany
AOL will use NetCentrex’s MyCall residential VoIP solution to deliver VoIP services to the consumer market in Germany.

AOL Germany has approximately 2.8 million net access subscribers.



5. Speakeasy Launches IP PBX Service
Speakeasy has launched Business VoIP, an IP PBX solution that provides functionality and featues common to traditional PBXs such as:

  • Employee and admin portals
  • Web conferencing and personal conference calling
  • Integration with Microsoft Outlook
  • e911 available in some areas
  • Support for teleworking
  • Auto-attendant
  • Web-based call management
  • Access authorization codes for tracking calls
  • Calling features such as call forwarding, call waiting, caller ID, speed dialing and find me/ follow me
The IP PBX provides customers with unlimited international calling to 22 countries. Pricing starts at $23.95 per seat per month.

Speakeasy operates a nationwide fiber optic network that spans the U.S. The company launched a residential VoIP service last September.


7. Sprint Names 3 New VoCable Partners
Sprint has signed 5-year agreements with 3 cable operators in the U.S. to provide IP based VoCable solutions including deals with Massillon Cable TV, Wave Broadband, and Blue Ridge Communications. The partnerships call for Sprint to provide provisioning, switching, termination, local number portability, and support for e911, operator service, and directory service as well as support for calling features such as caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding and voicemail.

Massillon Cable TV provides voice, video and data services in Massillon and Wooster, Ohio, passing more than 70,000 homes. Blue Ridge operates in multiple markets in eastern and central Pennsylvania, passing more than 196,000 homes and Wave Broadband provides services in markets in California and Washington, passing 110,000 homes. Massillon launched VoIP services in January. The other cable operators plan to introduce voice services in the second half of this year.

In addition to the new deals, Sprint also provides VoIP solutions for undisclosed national cable MSOs, supporting operations for more than 250,000 VoCable subscribers. A Sprint representative, Mark Chall, confirmed that all of the aforementioned subscribers were a part of IP based voice services and the figures did not include partnerships with cable companies offering circuit-switched cable telephony.

In addition to VoIP, Sprint is also working with cable operators such as Time Warner Telecom and Sunflower Cable to co-market Sprint branded cell phone services.


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