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NGN Magazine Magazine logo
May 2010 | Volume 2/Number 3
Feature Story

MPLS Service Providers Address Hosted VoIP

By Paula Bernier

Best-effort service for hosted VoIP service just doesn’t cut it for some customers. That’s why this service is increasingly moving onto MPLS-based connections.

Indeed, at least two leading MPLS providers recently announced new moves in the hosted VoIP space.

MegaPath Inc. this spring launched a hosted VoIP offer called Duet Hosted. Meanwhile, New Edge Networks separately unveiled relationships with hosted VoIP providers 8x8 and XCast, both of which will bring quality of service to their offers by delivering them over New Edge’s MPLS connections.




Cardi Prinzi, president of New Edge Networks, says in the past year or so there’s been a bigger focus on delivering managed services to larger customers. However, while larger customers expect a certain level of service and security, buying T1, T3 or Ethernet connections for their branch offices or other sites might be overkill. New Edge can provide multi-location MPLS – with class of service for hosted VoIP – to those customers. And, when smaller sites require it, that MPLS can run over ADSL. (IPsec is an alternative to MPLS, he adds, but that doesn’t work great with hosted voice given IPsec requires a lot of firewalls, so is expensive.)

New Edge and 8x8 already have done a joint RFP for a customer in Atlanta, he says, and the MPLS provider has two customers it’s signed on in cooperation with XCast.

“So it becomes kind of a distribution channel for us to sell more network,” says Prinzi, who adds that New Edge next plans to seek partnerships with other application service providers, such as SaaS, physical security and hosted Microsoft Exchange outfits.

That said, he adds, VoIP companies are the biggest short-term opportunity for New Edge. So many of these kinds of companies approached New Edge about MPLS, he says, that the company decided
“the market’s telling us something; let’s do something about it.” MegaPath, which has a strong agent channel, believes hosted services is what’s happening, and the channel needs to get on the bandwagon. Mega
Path can help them do that through this MPLS-enabled hosted VoIP offer.

“The big messaging here was trying to put the quality back in voice,” says Dan Foster, MegaPath chief sales and marketing officer.

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