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David Sims - TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist[February 23, 2005]

Time Warner Telecom Announces Business-Class VoIP at ITEXPO

By David Sims, TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist

Time Warner Telecom, a provider of managed voice and data networking for businesses, today announced its VoIP-based business solutions strategy and new service offerings at the Internet Telephony Conference and Expo in Miami.

Time Warner Telecom is launching its business-class VoIP solution suite, called TW Telecom ONE SOLUTION, to business customers in 21 initial markets. These services are now available in: Atlanta, Albuquerque, Austin, Texas; Binghamton, N.Y.; Charlotte, Cincinnati, Columbus, Ohio; Dallas, Denver, Greensboro, N.C.; Indianapolis, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York City, Orlando, Portland, Ore.; Raleigh, San Antonio, San Diego and Tampa.

Other Time Warner Telecom markets will have TW Telecom ONE SOLUTION business-class VoIP-based solutions available later this year.

First-generation VoIP has either been of too low quality, too unreliable or too expensive to maintain for the majority of business customers. With the advantage of being able to build on the established infrastructure of one of the country's premier competitive telecom carriers, Time Warner Telecom seems determined to dominate this market, counting on its metro Ethernet for competitive advantage.

Last June NuCall Communications Inc. began offering business-class VoIP services to small and medium size businesses using VoIP services provided by Level 3 Communications, Inc. Customer premise equipment installation is accomplished through its network of value-added resellers and systems integrators.

And in December Covad Communications Group Inc. announced a rollout of business-class VoIP services in 125 major metropolitan markets aimed squarely at offering small and medium businesses “services and voice quality that business can rely on, and an attractive alternative to traditional local phone company service,” according to Covad officials. Its Covad PBXi works with existing PBX equipment, while the Covad vPBX is designed as a full PBX alternative.

“Our strategic approach to this technology may differ slightly from other service providers," said Michael A. Rouleau, senior vice president Strategy and Business Development for Time Warner Telecom as he outlined a strategy to layer VoIP-based business-class solutions on Time Warner Telecom’s robust metro Ethernet platform.

“This leverages our network strengths and relationships with customers to meet their mission-critical voice needs,” he explained, adding that “our industry leadership position in data and IP enables new applications, like VoIP-based services, that work on time, all the time.”

Rouleau observed that "the burning question in the minds of customers is not, what technology, but what solution, will help me win in a very competitive marketplace? How the industry takes technologies, like VoIP, and crafts them into real solutions that deliver real benefits for customers, is what separates the contenders from the pretenders. As more and more businesses converge their voice and data networks, aligning with the right service provider is becoming even more critical.”

The first phase of VoIP-based products offered under TW Telecom ONE SOLUTION, provides solutions for PBX customers. These products include: TW Telecom ONE CONNECT, a VoIP trunking solution; TW Telecom ONE REACH, an IP FX virtual numbering service; and TW Telecom ONE FORUM, a conferencing solution. In concert with this VoIP-based business strategy launch, Time Warner Telecom is offering free VoIP VPN service to all its site-to-site customers in the 44 markets it serves.

"These VoIP-based products can integrate quickly and seamlessly over our packet infrastructure," said Rouleau. "This gives customers the ability to converge their disparate voice and data networks onto one common access infrastructure."

Analysts have called Time Warner Telecom's metro Ethernet solutions suite one of the most comprehensive and competitive in the industry with market leadership position in network reach and breadth of services offered. Since early 2003, Time Warner Telecom has delivered its metro Ethernet services, called Native LAN, to more than 1,250 of its medium and large customers.

David Sims is contributing editor and CRM Alert columnist for TMCnet.

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