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Johanne Torres[October 1, 2004]

VoIP, Inc. Wants to Partner with Cable


Fort Lauderdale, FL-based VoIP, Inc. just announced it will be providing wholesale VoIP services to small cable companies. The residential and business Voice over IP (VoIP) (define - news - alert - tutorial) provider plans to sign up some 1,100 small cable companies in the U.S. Earlier this year, Sprint inked a similar deal with Time Warner Inc.'s (quote) cable wing.

"We see a growing demand from mid-sized and smaller network service providers in the area of VoIP," says CEO Steven Ivester, "but the high price of operating a soft switch, termination network, billing system, and the related staffing is typically outside the cost effective range for these service providers. Our program is designed to be a very economical and efficient solution for these providers, enabling them to begin offering VoIP to their clients quickly and without a large investment of their time or money."

In a move to catch up with traditional telecoms adding satellite television services and video networks to their offering, cable companies are now starting to deploy voice packages—further advancing to the ultimate goal of capturing a growing number of consumers over the next few years to buy a bundle of voice, video and high-speed data services from one company.

Small USA cable companies belong to the National Cable Television Cooperative, bundling 1,100 smaller cable companies with about 14 million subscribers nationwide. Clive Raines, president of International Operations of VoIP, Inc. said the VoIP Solutions will be one of the first to give smaller cable companies a viable competitor to local phone services.

"We can offer cable companies a way to sell phone service without the cost of investment in new systems or the learning curve or time to market problems while allowing the cable operators to retain ownership of their customers unlike reseller models from other voice providers," said Steven Ivester CEO VoIP, Inc. Cable companies "realize that if they don't get into voice, they'll allow [the Bells] and the incumbent phone companies to come in with a triple-play offering and hurt their business," Ivester said. "In a lot of ways it's seen as a defensive move, as protecting their embedded base of customers."

"Cable companies are very well positioned to leverage the investments they've already made in their cable infrastructure to get into the voice business and, we think, to capture valuable market share," said John Todd, VoIP, Inc. CTO.

The cable companies plan to share the $200 billion U.S. telephone market revenue by offering bundled service options that promise to expand revenue per subscriber for carriers and pass on significant savings to consumers.

Johanne Torres is the contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was the assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]

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