Business VoIP Featured Article

Telecom Companies in Trinidad and Tobago Spar on VoIP

July 10, 2014

By David Gutbezahl, Business VoIP Contributing Writer

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), with its ability to provide inexpensive phone services through an Internet connection, has the potential to truly rock the world of telecommunications. In business, VoIP has been developing as a major player for business call centers, but it may also become a threat for telecommunications companies on a consumer level. A trend that is only just growing, many telecommunications companies seem to be ignoring VoIP, but two companies in Trinidad and Tobago have spoken out regarding VoIP, each one taking an opposing side.

This past Saturday, Digicel, an Irish-based telecommunications company offering mobile phone services to customers in Trinidad and Tobago, announced through a text message to their customers that several VoIP apps would not be available to them. Among the apps being blocked by Digicel are Skype, Vyber, Tango, Nimbuzz, and Fring.

Taking the exact opposite side of the argument, Digicel's competitor Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), with its Bmobile service, made a public release stating that VoIP services are an “inescapable feature of modern telecommunications.” The company has taken a stance that they provide customers with the equipment and access to data and telephone networks, of which they are free to decide for themselves how to use.

TSTT's situation may lend itself for their acceptance of VoIP. TSTT is also known for releasing Bzones with their Bmobile service, over 50 Wi-Fi zones across the country through which customers may connect to the Internet. This would mean that even with VoIP services, it is highly likely that customers would be connecting through one of TSTT's networks.

Digicel, on the other hand, seems to be struggling with VoIP, influencing their decision. However, upon announcing the ban, many customers have become upset, reporting the company to the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. In response, the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago has respectfully asked Digicel to temporarily hold off on the ban until further investigation can be conducted. Digicel has acquiesced, so for now customers can still access VoIP services.

While TSTT's release refused to address Digicel's decision, it seems apparent that this is an attempt to stand out against their competitor and draw more customers. It may seem a wise decision, but if VoIP is truly a threat to telecommunications companies, these companies may need to work together to address the new trend. Could TSTT be throwing their only ally in the war against VoIP down a well? 

Edited by Alisen Downey



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