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April 24, 2007

GlobalTouch Modifies VoIP-in-a-Box for Prepaid Service

By Erik Linask, Associate Editor,
Internet Telephony magazine

As VoIP adoption continues to rise, the chief driver of the increasing uptake is the constant enhancement of existing services, the introduction of new services, and forays into largely untapped markets.

For hosted VoIP platform provider GlobalTouch Telecom (News - Alert), this means adapting its well-known VoIP-in-a-Box solution for the prepaid space. By modifying its solution to accommodate the nuances of prepaid services, GlobalTouch create a platform based on one with proven success and introduce it to a new market, thus opening a new customer base. Prepaid VoIP has the benefit of being more conducive to customer retention than traditional prepaid phone cards, largely because of the Web-based self-provisioning and self-management tools. This includes account activation, voice mail retrieval, balance recharging, and more. The level of control users have over their accounts, and the ease with which they can modify account parameters, go a long way towards ensuring they do not defect to an alternative provider.
Furthermore, the ease with which customers are able to recharge balances via credit card over the Web, increases customer retention and creates an ongoing revenue stream. In addition, callers will find convenience in not having to dial a 10-digit access number and then a PIN in order to dial out. Instead, with GlobalTouch’s platform, they simply pick up or turn on their IP phone or softphone — GlobalTouch provides a free softphone with its service — and dial. To the end user, other than being a prepaid plan, it’s just like any other phone service. Of course, calls to other VoIP users can be offered free of charge, just like with other VoIP offerings.
GlobalTouch’s prepaid solution offers its customers — MSOs, ISPs, resellers, and other carriers and service providers — the same all-in-one solution at its original VoIP-in-a-Box. They receive all they need to create a scalable private labeled VoIP service that can be rolled out in two months’ time, at most.
“This latest offering, coupled with our strong presence in the hosted VoIP space — what many analysts believe to be the hottest and most stable VoIP sector — has GlobalTouch poised for a very strong 2007,” said Gregory O. Welch, CEO, GlobalTouch Telecom.
Also, despite being able to roll out the service quickly, and despite not having to make major investments in infrastructure, GlobalTouch customers’ subscribers benefit from all the traditional call control features — like call forward, three-way calling, caller ID, call waiting, voice mail to email, and more.
Essentially, GlobalTouch’s latest solution offers providers a way of entering new markets where traditional pay-as-you-go offerings might not be as successful, or it allows them to increase their presence in current markets by gaining residual market share. Indeed, prepaid VoIP is rapidly garnering steam in the telecom space because it provides the benefits of IP-based calling, with no billing or provisioning nightmares.

Erik Linask is Associate Editor of INTERNET TELEPHONY, IMS Magazine, and SIP Magazine. Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert), he was Managing Editor at Global Custodian, an international securities services publication. To see more of his articles, please visit Erik Linask’s columnist page.
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