February 24, 2009
ICC to Bring VoIP Services to Italian Utility Co.
By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor
A company that provides communications services for immigrants in Europe announced this week that it will provide mobile and fixed VoIP services to a major Italian public utility’s business unit.
Officials at ICC Worldwide – an Italy-based company with U.S. headquarters in Corona Del Mar, California – say their subsidiary, ICC Italy Srl, will serve Teanet’s commercial and residential customers in the boot-shaped nation.
According to ICC President and Chief Executive Officer Rich Lauer, his company’s wholesale telecommunications use the same expertise and equipment which ICC normally uses, but in a non-competitive fashion.
“Even the service delivery hours are complementary,” Lauer said. “Teanet’s business customers will use the products primarily during regular business hours, whereas our immigrant worker-focused call shops operate primarily in the evenings and on weekends – effectively giving ICC double-duty utilization of our network and telephone switching equipment.”
Teanet is the communications and Internet infrastructure business unit of Gruppo Tea Spa, a utility that’s jointly owned by a number of northern Italian cities, serving 450,000 residents and businesses.
The company has implemented a network of fiber optic cable and high-performance wireless transmission capabilities, providing Internet and high-speed data access for businesses and residents in the organization’s service delivery area.
That network implementation project will sound familiar to U.S. citizens following a heated debate – as TMCnet has reported – on the benefits and drawbacks of a new initiative to use $7.2 billion deploy broadband nationwide, for the taxpayers who are subsidizing it, the services’ recipients, the economy at large and escalating unemployment rates.
Last week, an industry veteran of more than 20 years told TMCnet in an interview that the portion of the $787 billion in the economic stimulus package that’s dedicated to nationwide broadband deployment likely will lead to wider use of VoIP.
Backed by broadband networks, hospitals and businesses, especially, will view VoIP as easier to install and manage than traditional PBX (News - Alert) networks, and will be cheaper overall for general use, according to Craig Settles, president and founder of Oakland-based Successful.com.
“Broadband networks that incorporate WiMAX (News - Alert) (News - Alert) or other wireless access will likely result in a lot of VoIP usage,” Settles told TMCnet in the interview. “If you have fiber providing 20, 30 or more megabits per second of backhaul for the wireless component, using VoIP makes all the sense in the world.”
According to Lauer, since most of ICC’s components are in place already, the company expects to be producing revenue from the Teanet agreement in a short period of time.
“Once started, we are confident that the growth of this business unit will be rapid and produce strong margins,” Lauer said. “In doing so, ICC’s profitability could easily double by calendar year-end over that previously projected from the immigrant worker market alone. I’m sure you can see why we are so excited about this opportunity.”
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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan