Editor's Note: This is the sixth in a series of short articles from
Rich Tehrani based on recent visits with a number of VoIP vendors. The
previous article is available here.
I meet a slew of companies each week and many of them
show me the same old products that help service providers roll out VoIP
over their broadband lines. Sure there are differences, but I feel for
carriers trying to make a buying decision. There are so many similarities
among products, how do you decide which is best?
These equipment providers better watch out because if
they don�t start to really differentiate themselves, there will be an
inevitable price war and VoIP equipment will become commoditized. While
this is good for service providers, what is better for equipment providers
and service provider customers is to see some innovation in VoIP. That is
why I was so happy on a recent trip where I met with NetCentrex, a company doing
something pretty unique in the VoIP space by offering what they call a
triple-play solution that delivers voice, video and data converged
networks and next-generation services. By partnering with Envivio, a provider of MPEG-4 and H.264
broadcast and streaming solutions, as well as with Highdeal, a
provider of pricing, high performance rating and settlement solutions,
they have established the IPlay3 Consortium. Service providers can now use
these solutions to offer VoIP, IP-TV and IP-VOD (video on demand).
Providers can take advantage of this partnership to
more easily supply video and voice over their high speed lines.
Subscribers, on the other hand, will have a portal that allows them to
take advantage of Web-based self-care and self-provisioning features while
customers receive a single bill for all of the services.
Since we spend so much time in front of our TVs, why
not enable us to see who is calling right on the television while we�re
watching the Super Bowl? Don�t worry, the messages are unobtrusive and
won�t affect your ability to watch the game. Some of the other services
potentially available to consumers are:
Your address book can also be controlled via the
You can accept a video call; and
You can see trailers of a movie before ordering
Service providers have the flexibility to allow
weekend specials, holiday specials, etc. Since the phone is integrated
with video, you can pause movies when the phone rings as well as other
features made available via DVRs.
You can provide IP-TV to your customers as long as you
have about 900 Kbps of bandwidth available. Naturally, the platform lends
itself to future options like e-learning, security and gaming. In a world
full of me-toos, NetCentrex has done an admirable job differentiating
itself and bringing new services to market.
Please talk back to
me in our forums.
Rich Tehrani is TMC's president. He welcomes your comments.
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